President Obama and Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet checking out a solar panel during a tour of the company's plant in Fremont, California on May 26, 2010.
The Department of Energy program provides start-ups access to low-cost government-backed loans in order to spur innovation in green technology. The Obama administration's loan guarantee program for clean energy companies is coming under heavy scrutiny after one of its beneficiaries, solar-panel maker Solyndra, recently filed for bankruptcy.
Solyndra's collapse could end up costing taxpayers as much as $527 million. Democrats and Republicans on the House Energy and Committee have assailed the Solyndra loan decisions and are investigating correspondence within the administration to track this misjudgment and whether there are seedier reasons behind the fallout.
Jon Stewart humiliated the White House by covering the scandal on The Daily Show last night. The public embarrassment has tarnished President Obama's long-standing effort to create jobs through such measures that also combat global warming and ensure the United States leads in innovation and technology.
Yesterday's Washington Post lead front-page article blasted the lack of jobs created by this program. The White House quickly fired back with a lengthy blog post claiming the article's assertions were "incomplete and inaccurate" and listing the important value and results of the program. Media Matters is also calling out the Post for its "fuzzy math."
Setting the foundations for a clean energy industry is tantamount to confronting climate change and growing the U.S. economy. The chance of a flourishing green economy is being diminished by these controversies and the overwhelming refusals to invest in green energy by the tea party-controlled Congress.