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Solyndra Facts vs. Fiction: The Credit Committee

September 23, 2011 - 5:27pm

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Some critics just can’t let go of debunked myths.
 
Fact: The Solyndra loan application was not “rejected” by the Bush Administration.  The Department began thorough due diligence on the project during the Bush Administration, which continued into the Obama Administration, driven by highly professional, non-partisan career employees with extensive input from outside reviewers.

On January 9, 2009, a Credit Committee of five career federal employees reviewed the progress of the Department's due diligence on the transaction.  The group decided to continue the due diligence process rather than recommend the loan guarantee immediately proceed for further approvals.  As the attached recommendation from that meeting makes clear, the committee did not reject the application.  It noted that the project “appears to have merit” and simply remanded the application “without prejudice” so that work could continue and so that the committee would have additional time to review the documentation.
 
In fact, in March, after two additional months of due diligence by the Department  – which included receiving and reviewing a draft market report prepared by external advisors and an updated independent engineer’s report –  the same group of career civil servants who had first considered the transaction in January considered the deal again.  They voted to send the deal forward.    
 
The fact is, the Department decided to advance this project forward through the review and approval process that at various points from 2006 to 2009.  For example, on October 4, 2007, the Department rejected more than 100 other applications while inviting Solyndra and 15 other companies to continue in the application process. 

A timeline summarizing the approval process is online at: www.energy.gov/solyndra
 
 

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