OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House GOP takes aim at White House loan guarantee report

Republicans are already working to get out in front of the loan guarantee review. Herb Allison, a former Treasury Department official who has been charged with conducting the review, has completed the probe, and the White House is reviewing it before releasing it publicly.

Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Monday that Allison did not collaborate with them on the probe, noting that they are both looking into the same issues with the loan guarantee program.

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Allison’s office declined a request to meet with committee Republicans, according to a Monday letter from the panel’s chairman, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the head of the panel’s investigative subcommittee.

“As the committee has been looking into the same matters that are the subject of your review, we respectfully submit that it would make sense to attempt to work collaboratively,” the letter says.

Separately, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) called on the president Monday to publicly release the entire loan guarantee review.

“Now that your Administration is completing its internal review of the loan guarantee program, I believe it is essential that you release the results in their entirety,” he wrote in a letter. “The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and any delay in releasing the audit results is a disservice to American taxpayers.”

Sensenbrenner cited the bankruptcy of energy storage company Beacon Power, which received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2010. He also pointed to the bankruptcy of Ener1, whose subsidiary received a $118.5 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department.

"Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Ener1 all appear to have squandered tax dollars due to a lack of due diligence by the DOE in awarding these loan guarantees. Regrettably, we cannot spare the taxpayers from taking the hit from these three companies," the letter says. "There is still time, however, to make sure that similar failures are not realized due to problematic investments."


NEWS BITES:

Solar group slams report on Chinese solar imports

A coalition of solar panel manufacturers slammed a report released Monday that said duties on Chinese solar imports could cost up to 60,000 U.S. jobs.

“This highly speculative study ignores the illegality of China’s actions and fails to consider the harm those actions have caused to high-tech manufacturing jobs in the solar sector,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America, one of the companies that filed a petition seeking the duties.

“We do know that thousands of good-paying American manufacturing jobs have already been lost to illegal Chinese dumping and subsidies for solar products. Our goal is to build America’s solar manufacturing base and the good jobs with benefits, innovation and competition that come along with it.”

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), a group of solar panel makers that includes SolarWorld, called on the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Commerce Department earlier this year to impose duties on imports of Chinese crystalline silicon solar panels. The companies alleged that China is flooding the U.S. market with underpriced solar panels and illegally subsidizing its solar industry.

The petition immediately caused a rift in the solar industry, pitting the solar panel manufacturers against major solar developers and power generators. Opponents of the duties argue that they will effectively raise the cost of solar panels and could cause a trade war with China.

The Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), a group of solar companies that oppose the duties, released a report Monday that says they could result in as many as 60,000 job losses and cost consumers up to $2.6 billion.

Read more about the report here.


ON TAP TUESDAY:

Exxon to report profit, attacks in tow

ExxonMobil will announce its fourth-quarter 2011 profits Tuesday. Look for the oil giant’s haul to prompt new calls from Democrats to nix oil industry tax breaks.

Energy secretary, advisers to chat ...  

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will host a meeting of his Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, a panel of outside experts that weigh in on matters such as shale gas drilling in DOE’s research portfolio.

According to an advisory, Chu will “participate in a discussion of some of the major scientific and technical challenges in energy innovation and receive briefings from the Advisory Board on energy efficiency, the Department’s SunShot effort to reduce the cost of installing solar panels, and nuclear energy issues.”

... and hear from nuke waste panel chiefs

The advisory board will also hear from former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. They chaired the presidential panel that last week released a major report on the future of nuclear waste policy.

More on the report — and the political fallout — here and here.

Senate energy panel explores long-term forecasts


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear from will hear from Howard Gruenspecht, the acting administrator at the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on EIA’s new forecast of U.S. energy trends through 2035. 

E2 has more on the report here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ...

Here's a quick roundup of E2 stories from Monday and this past weekend:

— Report escalates rift within solar industry over China
— Environmental group to lawmakers: 'Don't drill and drive'
— House Yucca advocate won't target GOP candidates for opposing the waste dump
— Senate GOP floats bill to bypass Obama and approve Keystone
— Axelrod: Solyndra loan not as bad as Romney work for Bain Capital
— GOP Sen. Murkowski: No White House muscle behind ‘clean’ power standard
— Boehner says GOP will add Keystone provision to infrastructure bill
— GOP wants Sen. Baucus to go rogue on Keystone XL oil sands pipeline
— House Republicans extend Solyndra probe to Defense Department

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Andrew Restuccia, arestuccia@thehill.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @E2Wire, @AndrewRestuccia, @Ben_Geman

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