Murkowski: Solyndra Bankruptcy Casts Shadow on Pending Loan Guarantees

Top Energy Committee Republican Urges Energy Secretary to Correct Program’s Flaws

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu urging him to correct any shortcomings in the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program under the 2009 stimulus bill before taxpayers are asked to shoulder additional risk. The Department of Energy (DOE) may issue up to $9.2 billion in new loan guarantees under the temporary Section 1705 loan guarantee program in the next week.

“In these critical days, as the cabinet officer responsible for approving obligations entered into with respect to these transactions, I ask you to do your utmost to avoid the mistakes that appear to have been committed with respect to Solyndra LLC, the first-ever recipient of a DOE loan guarantee,” Murkowski wrote in the letter. “Although I believe there is value in DOE’s loan program, the circumstances surrounding Solyndra’s bankruptcy filing have raised questions about the program as a whole.”

Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has oversight over DOE and the Loan Programs Office. In her letter, Murkowski requests Secretary Chu respond as soon as possible to her request. 

The full letter is attached.