Continued from page 2

Market influences

After the company’s bankruptcy two years later, administration officials defended the decision to award Solyndra the loans in 2009, saying the company fell victim to unforeseen difficulties in the solar industry and that its finances were scrutinized by government officials before awarding the loans.

Mr. Silver said China began flooding the market with cheaper solar panels because the Chinese government was providing massive subsidies to solar manufacturers and that in turn “drove the price curve down in a very significant fashion.”

Republicans also ripped the decision to allow a loan restructuring, in which new investors who poured $75 million into Solyndra would be paid back before taxpayers in case of a default.

Mr. Waxman said the loan deal deserves scrutiny, and he raised questions about whether there was proper vetting and whether the company misled federal officials about its finances. He said the company even briefed him personally on its finances and assured him it was in solid shape. Still, he said, the company’s collapse shouldn’t keep the government from backing solar-energy initiatives.

But Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Republican, said the collapse wasn’t surprising. He said that’s what happens when the government tries to pick winners and losers.