FBI agents executed a surprise search Thursday of a Silicon Valley solar company that collapsed last week, in an investigation that appeared to center on half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees granted to the company by the Obama administration.
The search at the offices and plant of Solyndra, a California-based manufacturer of solar panels, came as Republicans on Capitol Hill demanded answers to questions about the company’s selection for the $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee. Some Democrats questioned whether the company misled federal officials about its deteriorating financial condition.
And that’s not the worst of it from the perspective of the Obama administration. ABC News tells us:
The Energy Department was keeping a close eye on Solyndra during those crucial months — sitting in on board meetings as an observer as part of the loan restructuring, iWatch News and ABC reported Thursday. That raises key questions: Did DOE miss obvious warning signs of the company’s troubles in the final months before its collapse? . . .
Energy officials have repeatedly denied allegations that Solyndra received special treatment, saying the selection process was even handed. Until two weeks ago, the Obama administration held out Solyndra as a model for its green energy program, which was devised to create jobs and spur investment in cleaner sources of energy. President Obama personally visited the Solyndra plant last year, and his Energy Department made it the first to win approval of a federal loan guarantee. The $535 million federal investment enabled the company to build a sprawling manufacturing facility.
For Republicans, Solyndra is a made-to-order scandal. It symbolizes President Obama’s infatuation with his silly liberal idea (“green jobs”), his crony capitalism and his general ineptitude. If this becomes a full-blown scandal complete with indictments, grand juries and congressional hearings, watch for Democrats to start abandoning the administration in droves. This is one more Obama liability they have no intention of shouldering.