October 21, 2020

Obama donor discussed solar loan with White House

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A major donor to President Barack Obama discussed with White House officials a solar energy company that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and later went bankrupt, newly released emails show.

The emails released by a House committee appear to contradict repeated assurances by the Obama administration that the donor, George Kaiser, never talked about Solyndra Inc. with the White House.

Solyndra’s name came up at a White House meeting with Kaiser last year at a time when the California company was seeking a second federal loan, after it had already received a $528 million loan in 2009, the emails show.

The second loan was not approved. Instead, an investment venture controlled by Kaiser made a private loan that resulted in the firm and other investors moving ahead of taxpayers in line for repayment in case of a default by Solyndra.

Solyndra, the first renewable energy company to receive a federal loan under the 2009 stimulus law, declared bankruptcy in September and laid off its 1,100 workers, leaving taxpayers on the hook for more than a half-billion dollars.

The company’s implosion and revelations that administration officials rushed to complete the loan in time for a September 2009 groundbreaking have become an embarrassment for Obama and a rallying cry for GOP critics of his green energy program.

 

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