The White House is ordering an independent review of the Energy Department’s loan program and seeking recommendations on improving monitoring of the process, William Daley, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, said.
The review comes in the wake of congressional inquiries into loan guarantees to failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC. It will be run by Herbert Allison, who previously oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program in the Treasury Department. Allison was directed to report back with recommendations in 60 days.
“Today we are directing that an independent analysis be conducted of the current state of the Department of Energy loan portfolio, focusing on future loan monitoring and management,” Daley said in a statement.
The Energy Department’s $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra has become the focus of a political controversy and a congressional investigation after the company filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 6.
In his statement, Daley said the administration remains committed to supporting development of alternative energy sources.
“While we continue to take steps to make sure the United States remains competitive in the 21st century energy economy, we must also ensure that we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars,” he said.
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee called a hearing for Nov. 3 to consider a subpoena of White House e-mails and documents about the process under which Solyndra got the guarantee.
The White House has said the committee has received more than 70,000 pages of documents from federal agencies involved in the loan guarantee, which was issued in September 2009.
Allison, 68, also is the former president of Fannie Mae and chairman and chief executive officer of Tiaa-Cref. He was chairman of Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign in the 2000 Republican primaries and before that served as president and chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch & Co.
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