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Reps. Upton and Stearns Letter to White House on Solyndra

Reps. Upton and Stearns Letter to White House on Solyndra

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Published by Rob Bluey
Two U.S. congressman are asking the White House for all documents related to the federal government's $535 million loan guarantee to solar company Solyndra.
Two U.S. congressman are asking the White House for all documents related to the federal government's $535 million loan guarantee to solar company Solyndra.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Rob Bluey on Sep 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/02/2011

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FREDUPTON,MICHIGANCHAIRMANHENRYA.WAXMAN,CALIFORNIARANKINGMEMBER
ONEHUNDREDTWELFTHCONGRESS
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COMMITTEEONENERGYANDCOMMERCE
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RAYBURNHOUSEOFFICEBUILDINGWASHINGTON,
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Majority(202)225-2927Minority(202)225-3641
September1,2011Ms.KathrynRuemmlerCounseltothePresidentTheWhiteHouse1600PennsylvaniaAvenue,N.W.Washington,D.C.20500DearMs.Ruemmler:PursuanttoRulesXandXIoftheU.S.HouseofRepresentatives,wewritetodayseekingdocumentsandinformationregardingtheroleoftheWhiteHouseinthereviewofloanguaranteesissuedbytheDepartmentofEnergy(DOE).Inparticular,weareinterestedintheloanguaranteeawardedtoSolyndra,Inc.(Solyndra),ofFremont,California.InSeptember2009,SolyndrawasthefirstrecipientofaDOEloanguarantee,totaling$535million.ThecreditsubsidyfortheSolyndraloanguaranteewasprovidedthroughtheAmericanRecoveryandReinvestmentAct(ARRA),orstimulus.Yesterday,thecompanycloseditsdoorsandannounceditsintentiontofileforbankruptcy.WehavelearnedfromourinvestigationthatWhiteHouseofficialsmonitoredSolyndra'sapplication,andcommunicatedwithDOEandOfficeofManagementandBudget(OMB)officialsduringthecourseoftheirreviewin2009andwhenthoseofficialswererestructuringtheSolyndradealthisyear.DocumentsreceivedbytheCommitteealsoshowthatDOEandOMBofficialswereawareoftheWhiteHouse'sinterestintheSolyndraloanguarantee.Inaddition,wearealsoawarethatamajorinvestorinSolyndra,GeorgeKaiser,wasabundlerforPresidentObama's2008campaign.PresidentObamaandotherAdministrationofficialshaverepeatedlytoutedSolyndraanditsprospectsinvisitstoitsmanufacturingfacilityandinspeeches.VicePresidentBidenappearedviasatelliteattheSolyndragroundbreakingonSeptember4,2009,toannouncethatDOEhadfinalizeditsloanguaranteetothecompany,statingthattheSolyndradealwas"partoftheunprecedentedinvestmentthisAdministrationismakinginrenewableenergyandexactlywhatthe[AmericanRecoveryandReinvestmentAct]isallabout."DOESecretaryStevenChuattendedthegroundbreakingeventaswell,andstatedthatprojectslikeSolyndrawouldbethestartofthe"secondindustrialrevolution"incleanenergytechnology.WhenPresidentObamavisitedthecompanyinMay2010totouritsmanufacturingfacilities,henotedthat"thetrueengineofeconomicgrowthwillalwaysbecompanieslikeSolyndra."
 
LettertoMs.KathrynRuemmlerPage2Despitethesestatementsonitsprospects,SolyndrahasexperiencedseriousfinancialsetbackssincereceivingtheDOEloanguarantee.JustafterthePresident'svisittoSolyndra,thecompanycancelledaplannedinitialpublicoffering.InNovember2010,Solyndraannouncedthatitwaspostponingaplannedexpansionofitsfacilityandlayingoff135temporaryorpart-timeworkersand40full-timeemployees.InFebruaryofthisyear,DOEwasforcedtorestructurethetermsofSolyndra'sloanguaranteeduetothecompany'sfinancialproblems.Atthattime,Solyndra'sinvestorsenteredintoa$75millioncreditfacilitywiththecompany,withtheoptionofasecond$75millionfacility.OtherproblemswiththeloanguaranteeprogramwerethesubjectofanOctober25,2010,briefingmemorandumaddressedtoPresidentObamafromCarolBrowner,then-DirectoroftheWhiteHouseOfficeofEnergyandClimateChangePolicy;RonKlain,then-ChiefofStafftoVicePresidentJoeBiden;andLawrenceSummers,then-DirectoroftheNationalEconomicCouncil.ThatmemorandumraisedseveralconcernsabouttheimplementationoftheDOEloanguaranteeprogram.InordertobetterunderstandtheroleoftheWhiteHousewithrespecttothereviewoftheSolyndraloanguaranteeandtheAdministration'ssupportofthisguarantee,eveninthefaceofSolyndra'sdeepeningfinancialproblems,werequestthatyoucontactCommitteestafftoscheduleabriefingonthesematterstotakeplacenolaterthanSeptember12.Inaddition,werequestthattheWhiteHouseprovidethefollowing:1.Alldocumentscontainingcommunicationsrelatingtothe$535millionloanguaranteetoSolyndra,Inc.,betweentheWhiteHouseandSolyndra,Inc.2.Alldocumentscontainingcommunicationsrelatingtothe$535millionloanguaranteetoSolyndra,Inc,betweentheWhiteHouseandtheinvestorsinSolyndra,Inc.,includingtheadministrators,employees,attorneys,agents,advisors,consultants,staff,principals,oranyotherpersonsactingonbehalfofthoseinvestors.PleasecontactCommitteestaffnolaterthan5:00p.m.onSeptember6,2011,todiscussascheduleforproduction.ThisscheduleshouldprovideforproductionofthedocumentsnolaterthanSeptember12,2011.
An
attachmenttothisletterprovidesadditionalinformationabouthowtorespondtotheCommittee'srequest.PleasedonothesitatetohaveyourstaffcontactKarenChristianandToddHarrisonwiththeCommitteewithanyquestionsaboutthisletter.Sincerely,ChairmanSubcommitteeonOversightandInvestigationsAttachment
 
LettertoMs.KathrynRuemmlerPage3cc:TheHonorableHenryA.Waxman.RankingMemberTheHonorableDianaDerlette,RankingMemberSubcommitteeonOversightandInvestigations

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