U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu spoke to the Washington Times’ affiliated radio show, America’s Morning News on Tuesday regarding questions surrounding the Energy Department’s decision to approve a $535 million government loan to the now defunct California solar panel maker Solyndra.
Secretary Chu believed in lending the money to a company like Solyndra, because of “how important it is to develop renewable energy sources and technologies and specifics will all unfold.” Mr. Chu added that Western Europe, Japan, Korea, and China are also supportive of seeing renewable energy be developed through government spending, so the United States should be as well.
However, when Secretary Chu was pressed for further reasons as to why the loan was approved by his department if the Office of Management and Budget cautioned that it would be a risky loan, he answered: “The details of Solyndra …there are all sorts of people who have wonderful 20/20 hindsight, but I don’t think most of that is born out by going back and looking at what really was happening.”
The Washington Times’ affiliated radio show, America’s Morning News tried to get some answers on Monday from Secretary Chu’s deputy at the Energy Department, Daniel Poneman. Mr. Poneman refused to answer questions about whether or not he knew Mr. Chu would be submitting his resignation over the Solyndra loan or my question (audio above) regarding the $132.4 million loan guarantee from the U.S. government the Spanish bio-fuel energy company Abengoa received.
According to Bloomberg, Abengoa received the U.S. taxpayer loan after Spain cut “subsidies for renewable energy and curbs infrastructure investment in a bid to rein in its budget deficit.” Some have wondered why the U.S. government approved this loan after the Spanish government had already cut monies going towards Abengoa. Mr. Poneman refused to tell me why.