White House Almost Gave Solyndra Another Loan
Even as auditors warned the company was in trouble
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2011 9:17 AM CDT
Ben Bierman (left) and Chris Gronet (right) explain solar technology to U.S. President Barack Obama on a tour of the Solyndra solar panel company May 26, 2010 in Fremont, California.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Just days after Solyndra received its $535 million government-backed loan in September 2009 it applied for another one—this time for a mere $469 million—and the Energy Department put that request on a fast-tracked priority list, sources tell the Washington Post. The department was still seriously considering the request through May 2010, even as auditors warned that the company was on the verge of collapse, according to emails released by Congressional investigators.

By then, career Office of Budget Management workers were mocking the company’s finances. “Possible to close and default on one [loan] before closing on a second??? Could be a new record,” one OMB analyst quipped in an email. The Energy Department says it formally dropped the proposal when Solyndra warned the government that it might have to liquidate in October 2010. But it denies pushing hard for the loan, saying it had “only barely begun” its due diligence.