Audit of energy loans coming out soon

Story highlights

  • $35.9 billion in Department of Energy loans were audited after the Solyndra bankruptcy
  • A former Treasury Department official conducted the audit
  • The White House plans to release the audit next week

The White House is studying an audit of $35.9 billion in Department of Energy loans to clean-energy companies, and plans to release it by the end of next week, a spokesman said Thursday.

Former Treasury Department official Herb Allison was asked to conduct the audit after the collapse of Solyndra, a California solar-energy company that received $500 million in loan guarantees under the Department of Energy program.

"We have received Mr. Allison's report and we thank him for his service," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. "We are reviewing the report's findings and look forward to releasing it by the end of the next week."

Solyndra, which manufactured high-tech solar-energy panels, went bankrupt last year, putting more than 1,000 people out of work and leaving the federal government unlikely to recoup any of the loaned money.

Republicans have made it a poster child for what they allege is "crony capitalism" by the Obama administration. The White House and Democrats argue the Solyndra case demonstrated the risk of investing in new technology needed to compete on a global basis in the clean-energy sector.