Emails Warned Obama About Solyndra Mess

Officials, investors shocked by investment in solar firm
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 6:14 PM CDT
President Obama tours the Solyndra solar panel company with Executive VP of Engineering Ben Bierman May 26, 2010, in Fremont, Calif.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Scared White House officials and private investors gave President Obama fair warning about his visit to Solyndra, the New York Times reports. Released today from a Congressional investigation, the emails told Obama not to visit the solar equipment manufacturer in 2009 because it would go belly up, despite massive federal funding. “I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press,” wrote one venture capitalist. But Obama visited anyway, and Solyndra caused a political stir by going bankrupt last month.

Democrats say the emails show no signs of political favoritism—a retort to Republicans who note that one Solyndra investor is linked to Obama fundraising. But, the Times adds, the emails also reveal little concern among lawmakers for the DOE's troubled clean energy loan program, which handed Solyndra $528 million. “What’s terrifying is that after looking at some of the ones that came next, this one started to look better,” said one email of the Solyndra investment. “Bad days are coming.”

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