New E-mails Reveal White House Concern Over Solyndra’s Finances

By:  Brian Koenig
03/19/2012
       
New E-mails Reveal White House Concern Over Solyndra’s Finances

Solyndra’s financial woes prompted White House officials to snub company executives from President Obama’s exclusive State of the Union box in January 2011, according to new e-mails released Friday. In May 2010, the President said that "companies like Solyndra" are the "true engine of economic growth," and in his 2010 State of the Union address, Obama claimed that the firm was "a California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels."

 

Solyndra’s financial woes prompted White House officials to snub company executives from President Obama’s exclusive State of the Union box in January 2011, according to new e-mails released Friday. In May 2010, the President said that "companies like Solyndra" are the "true engine of economic growth," and in his 2010 State of the Union address, Obama claimed that the firm was "a California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels."

"It is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. And you guys all represent that," Obama added. He branded the solar-panel maker as a poster child for "green" energy, asserting, "Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."
 
Just days before the President’s visit to the firm's Silicon Valley headquarters in May 2010, White House aides were mulling over a letter from California venture capitalist Steve Westly that warned of the potential embarrassment that could ignite if Obama visited the company’s facilities. "A cautionary note. This is a classic problem with start-ups, but we have to be careful what POTUS says," wrote Sally Ericsson, a director at the Office of Management and Budget. "FYI. We may want to be measured in how POTUS talks about Solyndra on his California visit," White House staffer Joseph Aldy added.

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