Top US Energy Official Leaves after Solyndra-paper

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011 04:59 PM
By Newsmax Wires

The embattled director of the controversial loan program that approved a $535 million taxpayer guarantee to bankrupt solar firm Solyndra is stepping down, the Energy Department confirmed Thursday.

Jonathan Silver, head of the Loan Programs Office, plans to join the organization Third Way as a "distinguished visiting fellow."

The move comes as GOP Congressional investigators are looking into the department's handling of the Solyndra agreement. Obama officials were warned about potential problems with the company as it sought government help, according to documents that have emerged over the last few weeks.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-MI, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns, R-FL, said the resignation resolves nothing in the widening scandal.

“Mr. Silver’s resignation does not solve the problem," Upton and Stearns said in a joint statement. "We are in the midst of the Solyndra investigation and just days removed from Mr. Silver’s mad rush to finalize the last $4.7 billion in loans before the statutory deadline."

"Just this past Monday, the President declared the loan guarantee program sound and said that it was to be expected that one company like Solyndra could fail. But today the President changed his tune, stating, ‘The nature of these programs are going to be ones in which, you know, for every success there may be one that does not work out as well.’"

"Does the Obama Administration now expect that half of these companies will fail? American taxpayers are already on the hook for the half billion dollar Solyndra bust - what other shoes does this Administration expect to drop?