The Obama Administration just announced that they are ordering an independent, non-partisan review and analysis of the Energy Department’s entire loan portfolio. The administration’s large energy loans recently came under fire after Solyndra, a California-based solar manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, filed for bankruptcy. The White House is calling for the review partially to quell Republican accusations that the White House improperly handled the granting of the loan by pushing it through the review process. The White House counters that this is not true and is hoping that the public report that is issued at the end of this review process will prove their actions were not inappropriate. The review will also recommend an early warning system that should help with the management of taxpayer dollars within the Energy Department’s loan program.
The analysis team will be led by Herb Allison, a former Treasury Department official that the White House believes will give them a straight answer on any problems inherent in the loan program. The team will look in depth at about two dozen other loans that were granted under the same Department of Energy program, asses the status of the companies and recommend any actions by the Department of Energy if the loans or companies are revealed to have issues.
“Today we are directing that an independent analysis be conducted of the current state of the Department of Energy loan portfolio, focusing on future loan monitoring and management,” said White House chief of staff Bill Daley upon announcement of the review. “While we continue to take steps to make sure the United States remains competitive in the 21st century energy economy, we must also ensure that we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
This review process is meant to be an offensive move by the administration after it was revealed that they were warned about Solyndra’s stability before their loan was granted and made the decision to follow through with it anyway. The review will take 60 days and will conclude with a public report of the findings.