The Obama administration turned over 432 pages of e-mail communications and other documents Friday to congressional Republicans investigating the collapse of the solar energy firm Solyndra, the White House said.
The hard-copy and electronic documents include e-mail communications from the offices of the president and vice president, the White House said in a letter to Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Cliff Stearns of Florida.
“These documents, like the over 187,000 pages previously provided by Executive Branch agencies, demonstrate what we have said throughout the course of this investigation: decisions on the Solyndra loan guarantee were made on the merits by the Department of Energy,” wrote Kathryn H. Ruemmler and Cynthia C. Hogan, counsels to the president and vice president, respectively.
“None of the documents support the committee’s allegations about favoritism to campaign contributors or improper White House involvement in the decision-making process,” the counsels wrote.
White House energy adviser Heather Zichal is scheduled to meet next week with House Republicans for an interview about Solyndra, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
Zichal’s meeting with the Energy and Commerce subpanel investigating the failed California solar company will happen behind closed doors and won’t involve a transcript. Those details were part of an agreement reached last month between Republicans and the White House that circumvented threats of a subpoena.
From the Hill:
The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.
A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”
The White House document notes that the Treasury Department, OMB and other White House offices agreed that no more money should be provided because there was a “near-zero chance” that the company could survive.
Taking a tour with Barbara Boxer:
Senator Boxer tours Solyndra in Fremont
Friday, February 05, 2010
Senator Boxer tours Solyndra, a Fremont-based company that manufactures thin-film, tube-shaped solar panels
And a thank you from Dianne Feinstein.
This is a major milestone for California’s solar industry,” Senator Feinstein said. “This federal loan guarantee of $535 million will enable Solyndra to secure affordable financing – at a time when credit is extremely tight – in order to build and operate a commercial-scale facility to manufacture the next generation of rooftop solar systems.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu has pledged that his department will act as an engine for innovation – and this loan guarantee program is an important part of that effort. So, I’d like to extend my thanks to Secretary Chu for his leadership.”