Rep. Upton pushed for loan to now-bankrupt solar company

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United Solar’s parent company, Energy Conversion Devices (ECD), filed for bankruptcy Tuesday. In a statement, ECD said United Solar filed its own separate bankruptcy petition. ECD said it plans to sell United Solar, but the company will continue to operate during the sale.

Upton, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has led a months-long investigation of the Obama administration’s 2009 loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar panel maker that filed for bankruptcy in September.

He has alleged that the Energy Department did not exercise enough oversight of its loan guarantees and raised questions about the Obama administration’s clean-energy investments.

A House Energy and Commerce Committee GOP spokesman defended Upton’s push for the loan, arguing it was up to the Energy Department to vet the project.

“While many in Congress questioned whether the stimulus would actually be able to produce the promised jobs, members on both sides of the aisle wanted to see jobs created and folks put back to work, especially in Michigan, which is why states and communities identified projects for DOE consideration,” the spokesman said.

“It is the job of DOE and [the Office of Management and Budget] to scrutinize the applications and identify the best participants, and that's what the Michigan delegation asked them to do.”

The spokesman said Upton will continue probing the Solyndra loan guarantee.

“We continue working to identify what went wrong with Solyndra to ensure taxpayers are never again left holding the bag on the Obama administration's risky bets.”