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Dan Leistikow, director of public affairs for the Energy Department, said in a statement that “changing economics have affected a number of solar manufacturers in recent months, including unfortunately, Solyndra. …”

“This loan guarantee was pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations,” Mr. Leistikow said. “Private sector investors, who put more than $1 billion of their own money on the line, also saw great potential in the company.”

Reacting to news of the company’s layoffs last week, Jay Carney, White House press secretary, said there were more than 40 companies in the same loan program that funded Solyndra and “you cannot measure the success based on one company or the other.”

But Republicans in Congress are investigating the Solyndra collapse. Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican and chairman of the subcommittee for oversight and investigations on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said last week the company’s collapse should raise concerns about the entire stimulus program.

“The administration celebrated Solyndra as the first recipient of its loan guarantee program and intended to showcase its success as representative of its stimulus program,” Mr. Stearns said. “This should be of great concern to all American considering the $1 trillion committed by the White House to its stimulus efforts.”

Mr. Stearns and Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter last week to the White House seeking information about the White House’s role in the loans to Solyndra.

In the letter, Mr. Stearns and Mr. Upton said they’ve learned from an investigation they had previously been conducting that Department of Energy officials, as well as officials from the Office of Management and Budget, were aware of White House interest in the Solyndra loan deal. In addition, they said they were aware that a major investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, was a bundler for Mr. Obama’s campaign.

“Now with the collapse of Solyndra, we see 1,100 employees out of work and taxpayers out of $535 million, most likely,” Mr. Stearns said in a statement.