GOP: Half a Billion Wasted on Energy Loan Program

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A solar power company that received a $535 million loan from the federal government is shutting down and plans to file for bankruptcy.

The White House called Solyndra, a California-based manufacturer of rooftop solar panels, an example of "clean technology."
    
Critics say the company's business model was never going to work.

GOP House leaders in particular have accused the Obama administration of playing favorites in giving the company a loan. They say the loan has resulted in the waste of more than half a billion in taxpayer dollars. 

"This is really bad news.  Half a billion dollars of taxpayer money and we may end up holding the bag," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., told ABC News.

"This is just a classic case of fraud and abuse and waste," he said.  The Government Accountability Office seemed to partially confirm the charge, saying the Energy Department had not treated applicants consistently, favoring some over others. 

Energy officials, however, say changing economics - not a faulty business model - are to blame for Solyndra's downfall. 

"The changing economics have affected a number of solar manufacturers in recent months, including unfortunately, Solyndra, a once very promising company that has increased its sales revenue by 2,000 percent in three years and sold more than 1,000 installations in 20 countries," the department stated on its website.

"As a result," he concluded, "Solyndra now plans to suspend its manufacturing operations and file for bankruptcy protection."

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