A White House budget official warned a last-ditch Energy Department plan to save Solyndra LLC from collapsing could end up costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars more than letting the company close, according to a report by the Republican-led House Energy Committee.
Abound Solar Inc., a solar-panel maker that shut after borrowing $70 million from the U.S., couldn’t compete with Chinese companies selling items below production costs, the company’s ex-chief executive said.
When solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC collapsed in September after winning a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, President Barack Obama’s administration blamed China’s even bigger aid for its renewable-energy industry.
BrightSource Energy Inc. warned Energy Department officials in March 2011 that delays in approving a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the White House and force the solar-energy company to close.
A fundraiser for President Barack Obama who became an Energy Department official pressed colleagues to act on Solyndra LLC’s application for a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee after he was barred from participating in the decision, according to e-mails.
The U.S. Department of Energy asked Solyndra LLC to delay announcing it would fire workers until a day after last year’s elections, according to a House Republican report citing advisers for the failed solar-panel maker.