In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu took full responsibility for all decisions regarding the $535 million loan guarantee awarded to failed solar company Solyndra. “As the secretary of energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine,” he said, “and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind.”
But despite taking ownership of the debacle, Chu refused to take any of the blame. He did not admit to any wrongdoing on his behalf or that of the Department of Energy in general. When asked by Energy and Commerce chairman Fred Upton (R., Mich.) if someone should apologize for putting taxpayers on the hook for half a billion dollars, Chu simply said, “It is extremely unfortunate what has happened to Solyndra.”
To date, evidence uncovered by the committee, mostly in the form of e-mails, strongly indicates that 1) Solyndra’s financial condition was always very dubious, making it an extremely risky bet from the get-go, and 2) political considerations played a substantial role in the decision-making process throughout the DOE’s involvement with the company.
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