By Jim Kouri
In yet another allegation of a serious lack of transparency on the part of the Obama White House, lawmakers on Wednesday delved into evidence of misuse of taxpayer dollars for green technology programs that were run by supporters and friends of the current President and that ended up throwing millions upon millions of dollars down the proverbial black hole, according to lawmakers.
As an update on the Committee’s investigation into the green energy loan guarantee program, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday released a memorandum to its members including over 150 emails.
According to the lawmakers on the committee, the emails appear to contradict statements made by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and White House and Energy Department officials that politics had nothing to do with the Department of Energy’s controversial 1705 loan guarantee program, which used taxpayer money to fund “green energy” companies like Solyndra and Abound Solar, both of which are now bankrupt and under investigation, according to the Chairman of the Oversight Committee.
According to the committee, as recently as last Friday President Obama repeated the assertion that decisions made in the failed program are “decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”
“The Administration should have disclosed these emails directly to Congress and the American people,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “The Department of Energy failed to produce many of these emails, but the Committee received them from other sources.”
“The Administration has for too long attempted to distance itself from the management of the program and its failures- embracing the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and photo-ops, while blaming the bankruptcies and wasted taxpayer money on someone else,” Issa added.
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.
The Oversight Committee’s memorandum stated in part: “Contrary to the Administration’s assertions, the loan program’s failure cannot be isolated to the Department of Energy Loan Program Office, or to the Department of Treasury or the Office of Management and Budget.
“Over 150 emails are enclosed with this memorandum. The attached emails demonstrate that non-political, career Department of Energy employees felt political pressure from sources as high as the President, Vice President, Secretary Chu and senior White House officials. The attached emails also demonstrate that infighting between agencies and mismanagement by the White House resulted in a breakdown of due diligence that ended up wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.”
“The Obama Department of Energy has overseen a process wrought with misdirection, changing and expanding requirements, unexplained delays, gross mischaracterizations, and a never-ending cycle of excuses. Not only does it appear that DOE purposely directed taxpayer funds at a failing enterprise, DOE’s action robbed taxpayers of genuine investment toward renewable energy.” stated Issa.