Solyndra Emails Claim Biden’s Staff ‘About Had an Orgasm’ About Energy Loans to Firm
By Chad Pergram
Published November 09, 2011 | FoxNews.com
A series of emails provided to the House Energy and Commerce Committee from individuals tied to Solyndra offer striking characterizations about running strategy with the White House to secure assistance for the now-bankrupt solar energy firm.
Emails among George Kaiser, head of the George Kaiser Family Foundation; Ken Levit, the executive director of the Foundation; and Steve Mitchell, who manages Argonaut Private Equity and was a member of Solyndra’s board; show that Vice President Joe Biden’s office were very gung-ho.
“They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office when we mentioned Solyndra,” reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell. A follow-up email from Mitchell to Levit later that day responds with: “That’s awesome! Get us a (Department of Energy) loan.”
According to exchanges obtained by Fox News, in an email from Mitchell to Kaiser on March 5, 2010, Mitchell writes that “it appears things are headed in the right direction and (Energy Secretary Steven) Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra’s application and continues to talk up the company as a success story.”
In a Feb. 27, 2010, message from Levit to a party whose name has been redacted, Levit writes that there was a meeting with a group of people in “Biden’s office — they seemed to love our Brady Project — also all big fans of Solyndra.”
One email from Kaiser to Mitchell and Levit on Oct. 6, 2010, reads: “We can possibly reinforce the effort so long as it is in the form of ‘I thought you should know, in case it comes up’ rather than ‘can you help with this.'”
In another communique dated Oct. 6, 2010, Kaiser tells Mitchell and Levit that he is “concerned that DOE/Chu would resent the intervention and your problem could get more difficult. I would see an appeal as only as last resort an, even then, questionable. We need to discuss.”
Solyndra received a half billion dollars in loans from the Department of Energy even as questions were raised over whether the California-based firm would stay afloat. The company filed for bankruptcy in September even just weeks after the administration weighed a bailout. Now House Republicans want to know how much influence the White House put on the Energy Department to approve the loans. Energy officials deny any influence affected the decision.
A well-placed source told Fox News that Kaiser was interviewed by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday.
In an email between Mitchell and Kaiser, Mitchell notes that the White House has “started a policy discussion as to whether a company should be able to get a second loan.”
Another message from Kaiser to Mitchell on March 5, 2010 says that Solyndra “came up”during a meeting with White House officials about the stimulus law.
“Every one of them responded spontaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one of their prime poster children.”
In an email from Mitchell to Kaiser on March 5, 2010, Mitchell writes that “it appears things are headed in the right direction and Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra’s application and continues to talk up the company as a success story.
In a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler regarding their panel’s recent subpoenas relating to Solyndra, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., the two note the seeming inconsistency in White House responses.
“The White House has repeatedly stated that no political influence was brought to bear with regard to Solyndra, and that Mr. George Kaiser, a Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser, never discussed Solyndra during any of his 17 visits to the White House. Documents recently obtained by the committee directly contradict those statements,” they wrote.