Two big stories are out tonight on the blossoming scandal involving failed solar panel company and stimulus funds recipient Solyndra. First, the Washington Post reports that the White House pressured the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to speed up the approval process for Solyndra's $535 million loan:
The August 2009 e-mails, released toThe Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to the e-mails, which were provided by Republican congressional investigators.
Next, ABC News reports that the White House ignored concerns voiced by the Department of Energy in order to proceed with Solyndra's massive loan:
The company's solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president's green energy plan -- billed as a way to jump start a promising new industry. And internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News show the Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved. "This deal is NOT ready for prime time," one White House budget analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email, nine days before the administration formally announced the loan.