In a few short years, Solyndra went from a promising US-based manufacturer of high-tech solar panels to a bankrupt political football. The company received substantial loans from the Department of Energy during the financial stimulus that followed Obama’s election. But shortly afterwards, the company went bankrupt amidst allegations that political pressure had played a role in ensuring that it received these loans.
Now, the DOE’s inspector general has weighed in with a report describing its investigation into Solyndra’s loans. The report suggests that, while political pressure may have made matters worse, lies by the company’s executives were central to the loan failures.
The DOE’s loan guarantees program is meant to foster riskier domestic energy programs (such as nuclear power plants) that would have difficulty securing financing otherwise. While they’re expected to fail on occasion, the DOE is expected to do due diligence and put its money toward viable companies.
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