Today Energy Secretary Steven Chu told Congress that he believe taxpayers will not recover much, if any, of their $528 million loan to bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, calling the situation “extremely unfortunate.” Chu continued defending both the original loan and actions he took to forestall the eventual bankruptcy of the government-funded political payback.

The House committee investigating the Solyndra loan heard Chu’s testimony Thursday already armed with an overabundance of emails detailing the administrations charge forward to put more than a half billion dollars into the hands of a company whose top investor was a bundler for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Chu contended that the decision in late 2009 to approve the loan guarantee was his own and “absolutely was made only on the merits.” However Chu’s proclamation come after evidence to the contrary has been exposed over the past few months.

The latest email to be released show that the administration pushed Solyndra to hold off announcing layoffs until the day after the 2010 election. These actions could, in fact, be a crime and will likely heighten the impact of an investigation that has shown that the “transparent” Obama administration was willing to stretch any of the rules to pay back political cronies.

The final slap-in-the-face to taxpayers was Chu’s acknowledgement that chances are dim for taxpayers to see their any of their money returned as Solyndra goes through bankruptcy proceedings. When pressed Chu said, “Well, that remains to be seen. I’m anticipating that not very much.”

The arrogance of the Obama administration was highlighted when Chu refused to offer a personal apology over the situation. While Chu expressed disappointment of the fate of Solyndra and that the buck stopped with him when it came to decisions made by the Energy Department about the company, he was unwilling to tell the taxpayers that he totally botched the situation. Chu’s belligerence is likely due to the fact that the decision was truly not his, but orchestrated by his superiors in the White House.

“As the Secretary of Energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind. And I want to be clear: over the course of Solyndra’s loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political considerations.” Clearly Chu has chosen to take one for the team, however the House Oversight and Reform Committee, nor the isn’t likely to accept Chu falling on his sword when evidence shows the heavy hand of the administration in the decision to loan more than a half billion dollars to Obama donors.

Despite emails and other testimony to the contrary, Chu claimed the White House never pressed him to take any action on the loan.

It is highly likely that Chu will in the coming months resign his position at the Energy Department in an attempt to take the Solyndra matter off the political map for 2012; but with Congress seemingly unable to find $1.2 trillion in cuts and the likelihood of mandatory cuts to Defense and Medicaid/Medicare, the casting to the wind of billions of dollars to those politically well-connected isn’t going to go away till after the next election.

Rep. Fred Upton, D-Mich., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, accused the Energy Department of ignoring concerns about the company dating back to early 2010.

“Officials were shrugging it off and calling it par for the course,” Upton claimed.

Democrats are scrambling to move the focus off the slimy facts that have been exposed by accusing the GOP majority of leading a politically motivated investigation.

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., accused Republicans of “firing partisan broadsides at the Obama administration.” The ranking Democrat on the subcommittee said the decision to issue a subpoena to the White House over Solyndra despite “good-faith efforts” by the White House to comply was nothing more than partisan politics. DeGette would prefer to sweep the matter under the rug and while she’s concerned over the Solyndra matter, demonizing her congressional counterparts seems to be the talking-points of the day.

Chu claimed the investigation into the matter should back up his claims that the department believed the loan was viable; it’s almost as if the administration would like us all to look up and say the sky is yellow and the moon is made of green cheese. Evidence be damned! Ignore the wink-wink, nod-nod practice of taking taxpayer dollars and sending them to political cronies.

“As you know, the department has consistently cooperated with the committee’s investigation, providing more than 186,000 pages of documents, appearing at hearings, and briefing or being interviewed by committee staff eight times,” Chu said. “As this extensive record has made clear, the loan guarantee to Solyndra was subject to proper, rigorous scrutiny and healthy debate during every phase of the process.”

Chu took responsibility for a later decision to approve a restructuring of Solyndra’s debt that allowed two private investors to move ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of default. How can anyone say that they moved private investors over the taxpayers while still collecting a government paycheck? Is there no shame in this White House?

Chairman Upton and Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida issued a joint statement that they intend to find out how decisions were made to guarantee and loan more than $500 million to Solyndra. Upton chairs the energy panel while Stearns heads a subcommittee on investigations.

“We want to find out why the administration restructured the loan after Solyndra had reached a technical default, and how they explain putting private investors in line ahead of taxpayers. And we need to understand how all the warnings, from inside and outside the Department of Energy, were ignored and this risky bet was allowed to happen,” Stearns and Upton said.

According to Chu, the Energy Department was forced to restructure the Solyndra loan or be faced with immediate bankruptcy. Had Solyndra filed for bankruptcy prior to the restructuring the taxpayers would’ve been at the front of the line to recoup at least a portion of the loan. Chu’s restructuring assured the taxpayers would likely never see a dime.

“Immediate bankruptcy meant a 100 percent certainty of default, with an unfinished plant as collateral. Restructuring improved the chance of recovering taxpayer money by giving the company a fighting chance at success,” Chu said in his written testimony.

Chu also said the decision also meant continued employment for the company’s approximately 1,100 workers. That restructuring meant that the cost per job, that lasted only a few more months, was $480,000. The entire process smells an awful lot like the Obama administration’s failed stimulus.

“When it comes to the clean energy race, America faces a simple choice: compete or accept defeat. I believe we can and must compete,” Chu said. Exactly how more than a half billion dollars flushed down the toilet qualifies as competition would’ve been a more useful statement.

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