Career Bureaucrats at OMB Analyze Loan Deals for DOE

This was meant to be published in September.  At the end of the day, not too surprising an outcome.

Solyndra is still in the news as a congressional committee holds hearings into how such a thing could happen.  The last line in an article that appeared in today’s Washington Post (“Lawmakers assail Solyndra loan decision – Administration officials defend efforts to rescue failing solor company” pg A15, 9/15/2011) gives a clue.  “At the end of the day, OMB staff used their best expetise.”

The way the process works for the $38.6 billion loan guarantee program (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in 2009) is that companies negotiate with the Department of Energy (DOE) for a government loan guarantee.  Then the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must sign off on the guarantees, often changing terms.

In the private sector, we call this the blind leading the blind.

DOE claims the program has saved 33,000 jobs so far.  Guess where that number came from?  You don’t want to know.


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