--Advertisement--
Ad by The Cutting Edge News

The Cutting Edge

Sunday December 21 2014 reaching 1.4 million monthly
--Advertisement--
Ad by The Cutting Edge News

The Race for Solar

Back to Investigation

E-Mail Trail shows Obama Administration's Early Concerns over Solyndra

October 3rd 2011

Obama Admin Topics - Obama solyndra
President Obama and Solyndra officials

Administration officials raised concerns about a 2010 visit by President Obama to a Solyndra manufacturing plant in California, arguing that the visit would embarrass the White House if the company ultimately went bankrupt, emails released Monday show.

In the days before Obama visited the now-bankrupt solar company's facility on May 25, 2010, one OMB official wrote an email to a colleague that said, “Hope doesn’t default before then.” Another official said, “I am increasingly worried that this visit could prove embarrassing to the Administration in the not too distant future, given 1) what we just heard today from DOE that Solyndra is delaying their IPO at least until the end of the year, and 2) what the auditors said about Solyndra making it through the year absent new financing.” Solyndra canceled plans to go public in June of 2010.

Administration officials raised concerns about a 2010 visit by President Obama to a Solyndra manufacturing plant in California, arguing that the visit would embarrass the White House if the company ultimately went bankrupt, emails released Monday show.

In the days before Obama visited the now-bankrupt solar company's facility on May 25, 2010, one OMB official wrote an email to a colleague that said, “Hope doesn’t default before then.”

Another official said, “I am increasingly worried that this visit could prove embarrassing to the Administration in the not too distant future, given 1) what we just heard today from DOE that Solyndra is delaying their IPO at least until the end of the year, and 2) what the auditors said about Solyndra making it through the year absent new financing.” Solyndra canceled plans to go public in June of 2010.

Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in early September and laid off 1,100 workers, igniting a firestorm in Washington and creating a political headache for the White House.

The emails are contained in a memo released Monday by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is conducting an investigation of the Solyndra bankruptcy.

The concerns about Obama’s visit ultimately made their way to the White House when Steve Westly, Managing Partner of the Westly Group, sent an email to senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on May 24.

“Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term,” Westly wrote.

If the Solyndra visit couldn’t be postponed, he warned that the president “should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc.”

Ultimately though, White House officials decided to move forward with the visit after the Energy Department reassured them that Solyndra’s financial outlook was stable.

“The company should be strong going into the fall with their new facilities on line,” an Energy Department official wrote in an email to Vice President Joe Biden’s then-chief of staff, Ron Klain, who had been tasked with assessing the company by Jarrett.

In deciding to move forward with the visit, Klain stressed that there are inherent risks in the loan guarantee program.

“The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few will be belly-up by election day 2012 – but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting edge, new economy industries,” Klain wrote to Jarrett, who agreed not to cancel the visit.

Andrew Restuccia writes for The Hill, from where this article is adapted.


Back to Investigation
Copyright © 2007-2014The Cutting Edge News About Us