White House Orders Review Of DOE Loans, Faces Potential Subpoena

Jessica Lillian, Wednesday 02 November 2011 - 11:08:30

The Obama administration has ordered an independent review of the loans made under the Department of Energy's (DOE) loan-guarantee program. The review will focus on more than 24 loan guarantees and loans made to renewable energy firms, according to an AP report.

Details on which companies and loan guarantees will be under the microscope have not been released. Beacon Power Corp., a Tyngsboro, Mass.-based energy-storage firm that received a DOE loan guarantee, recently filed for bankruptcy and could be an investigation target.

The process is expected to be led by Herb Allison, a former U.S. Treasury official who also oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was launched as part of a 2008 economic-recovery initiative.

DOE Secretary Steven Chu told the AP in a statement that he welcomed the review.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to look into a resolution that would authorize the issuance of a subpoena to the White House.

"The meeting comes only after the White House has denied requests for internal White House documents related to [solar firm] Solyndra, refusing to turn over information or engage in discussions with the committee about identifying relevant documents," the committee explained in a statement. "Recently produced documents revealed that the president's closest confidantes in the White House participated in decisions regarding the Solyndra loan."

According to Energy and Commerce Oversight Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., the Obama administration has, so far, failed to sufficiently cooperate with the committee on its investigation.

"Subpoenaing the White House is a serious step that, unfortunately, appears necessary in light of the Obama administration's stonewall on Solyndra," the two lawmakers said in a statement. "What is the White House trying to hide from the American public?"

The committee is scheduled to meet on Nov. 3 to discuss the potential White House subpoena.




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