White House Announces Review of DOE Loans After House Prepares Subpoena Vote of White House Records
Hours after the House energy investigatory committee announced it was prepared to subpoena White House records on the Solyndra solar scandal -- including President Obama's Blackberry emails -- the White House said it would open a review into its controversial Energy Department green loans. The announcement was made by White House Chief of Staff William Daley.
Both the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have blocked many congressional inquiries into the troubled loan program.
Today two chief House energy committee chairmen released a joint letter saying it was preparing a vote this coming Thursday to subpoena internal White House communications about the Solyndra scandal. Included is a request for President Barack Obama's Blackberry Emails.
White House officials listed in their request include former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, former economic adviser Larry Summers and Ron Klain, the former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.
The joint letter was signed by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL). Upton is the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Stearns is the chairman of the House Oversight and Investigation subcommittee. The letter reads in part:
“The purpose of a possible subpoena for White House documents would be to secure access to these internal communications among White House staff discussing their knowledge of the Solyndra loan and any efforts they made to secure the guarantee.”
Daley says the White House would conduct a 60-day review of the DOE loan program. He did not say it would investigate or air any wrongdoing, only identify future reforms for the troubled program. He named former Assistant Treasury Secretary Herb Allison to conduct the review.
Allison is not a stranger with scandals. He oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP and he was the President and CEO of the controversial housing giant Fannie Mae.
Myron Ebell director of the non-profit Center for Energy and the Environment said he was skeptical of the Allison appointment. Referring to the troubled DOE loan program he told PJ Media, "Well he's got a lot of experience with financial shenanigans" adding "he clearly has lot of experience with financial manipulation and shady operators."
In a statement released this evening, Rep. Stearns said the White House review should had been taken before the DOE's ambitious $40 billion loan program, saying:
"“Finally, officials at the White House are acknowledging that the program responsible for Solyndra may not have been the jobs program that was promised to the American people. This 60-day review would have been more sensible before billions of dollars in loans were rushed out the door in the program's final hours on September 30."
Many of the DOE recipients are alleged to have won hundreds of millions of dollars due to political connections to the White House or the Democratic Party.