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Emails Show Energy Dept. Asked Solyndra to Keep Layoffs Quiet Until After 2010 Elections

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By Doug Powers  •  November 15, 2011 01:26 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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It’s a special Tuesday edition of a Friday night email dump, and it comes near mid-week because Democrats don’t control the House committee in question.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is scheduled to appear before a Solyndra inquiry on Thursday, so I’m sure he’ll be asked about this:

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.

Solyndra, the now-shuttered California company, had been a poster child of President Obama’s initiative to invest in clean energies and received the administration’s first energy loan of $535 million. But a year ago, in October 2010, the solar panel manufacturer was quickly running out of money and had warned the Energy Department it would need emergency cash to avoid having to shut down.

The new e-mails about the layoff announcement were released Tuesday morning as part of a House Energy and Commerce committee memo…

As you read content of one of the emails, keep in mind that the 2010 election was on November 2nd:

“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”

This particular “investor adviser” posessed the kind of lack of inquisitiveness that probably contributed to the excitement level in the VP’s office.

As instructed, Solyndra announced the layoffs and a factory shutdown just after the elections were over. In spite of that, the DoE continued to give Solyndra installments of their taxpayer backed loan.

We all know how the 2010 elections turned out, so not disclosing the layoffs to the public until after the election didn’t exactly save Nancy Pelosi’s gavel.

Update: Rahm Emanuel still doesn’t remember anything about Solyndra… whatever that was.

Update II: Steven Chu tells NPR that politics didn’t play a part in the decision making process regarding Solyndra. Hahahahaha! Sorry…

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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