The Solyndra Inc. controversy saw a bi-partisan pile-on this morning as Rep. Henry Waxman "joined" (sort of) his GOP colleagues, to sharply scold the solar power company whose bankruptcy has put taxpayer loan guarantees of $535 million at potential risk and could - if Republicans can make their case - implicate the Obama White House in cutting corners to help Solyndra secure those guarantees.
In prepared remarks before a House investigating panel, Waxman said Solyndra's CEO personally assured him in July his company was in a "strong financial condition and in no danger of failing." CEO Brian Harrison even told him, Waxman said, Solyndra was on course to double its revenues in 2011. But now, Waxman continued, he was having a "hard time reconciling those representations" with the fact that on Sept. 6 Solyndra filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 employees.
Republicans, who hope l'affaire Solyndra will reap big political dividends, were not spared by Waxman. While agreeing with their concerns about the Solyndra deal, Waxman criticized his GOP colleagues for drawing the wrong policy conclusion from the Solyndra controversy - i.e., that it proves the folly of federal government investments in green energy. If that conclusion were embraced and such investments were halted, Waxman warned it would be a "grievous blow to our future prosperity."
The West LA veteran congressman sharply noted that most of the Republicans on the House submcommittee are "science deniers" who don't believe in the danger of global warming and don't recognize the vital need for government financial aid to bolster alternative energy innovators who are trying to compete against the heavily-subsidized Chinese solar industry.
LA Observed Tuesday reported that the state of California also has some skin in the Solyndra debacle after having exempted the Fremont-based company from paying about $25 million in sales taxes on its purchase of manufacturing equipment used to build its innovative cylindrically-shaped solar "panels."
Waxman's remarks can also be seen on YouTube.