It turns out that belly-up solar panel maker Solyndra didn’t just fail in business class. It also failed ethics. A new report from the Department of Energy’s Inspector General has revealed that the company, which hauled in half a billion dollars of President Barack Obama’s stimulus money in the wake of the financial crisis before going broke, lied to the administration in order to get its loan. While applying for the funds. the renewable energy darling that was supposed to be a jewel of Obama’s plan to kick start the economy with so-called “green tech” jobs in 2009, overstated the value of its contracts, deceiving the government, credit rating agencies, and analysts.
“At its core, Solyndra officials failed to make complete, accurate, and direct disclosures to the department of information that was relevant to the loan guarantee process,” stated the report. “While the department’s due diligence effort had shortcomings, it is our view that providing misleading answers to departmental inquiries and failing to openly disclose critical information violated the spirit and intent of the requirement for Solyndra to report material changes to its loan guarantee application to the department.”
This wasn’t entirely a bunch of sneaky execs pulling one over on an administration that was struggling to oversee nearly a trillion dollars in funds from the stimulus. The report notes that the White House failed to fully vet the project before handing over the money. Though the Energy Department noted that Solyndra “effectively undermined the department’s efforts to manage the loan guarantee process,” it admitted that the government’s “due diligence effort had shortcomings.”
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