We would like to believe that our nation’s energy policies are based on sound science and careful cost-benefit analyses. But a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigation found evidence of widespread political favortism in awarding federal energy loans.
Their memo was released on October 31st, along with emails and other supportive documents, but the mainstream media attentively failed to report any of it, as Briebart notes today at BigJournalism. The Congressional report on DOE loans is worth a read. It concludes that the documents it uncovered demonstrate that “Department of Energy employees felt political pressure from sources as high as the President, Vice President, Secretary Chu and senior White House officials.”
For over a year, the Committee has been conducting comprehensive oversight of the Obama Administration’s Sec. 1705 green energy loan guarantee program, administered by the Department of Energy (DOE). The Committee held five hearings, sent dozens of letters, interviewed numerous current and former DOE officials, and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents produced by DOE, loan recipients, individuals, and other organizations with a stake in the 1705 loan guarantee program.
DOE obligated $14.5 billion to 26 projects before the loan program’s termination in September 2011. Three of those projects (Solyndra, Beacon, and Abound) have already declared bankruptcy, and several others are facing serious financial difficulties. Twenty-two of these projects were rated below investment grade (junk) because of their bad credit quality.
Since the first loan guarantee recipient declared bankruptcy (Solyndra, in September 2011), the Administration, particularly the President and Secretary Chu, has insisted that political cronyism played no role in the allocation of taxpayer funds in the program, despite substantial connections between numerous companies that received loan guarantees and friends, fundraisers and donors to President Obama and others in his Administration. The Administration has also attempted to deflect blame for the program’s controversies, insisting that career bureaucrats at DOE made the decisions that led to the program’s massive failures and losses. Most recently, President Obama personally assured the American people that decisions made in the loan program were “decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”
In recent weeks, the Committee obtained documents from current and former DOE employees and contractors, many of which have been withheld by the Department of Energy for more than a year. This memo outlines key information the Committee has recently uncovered that suggests statements by the President and others in his Administration were misleading and that the White House, senior Administration officials, and President Obama himself played key roles in the Loan Guarantee Program….