Chu: Solyndra loan made with ‘best interest of the taxpayer in mind’

As the secretary of Energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind, Chu said.

Chu testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which has launched a months-long investigation of Solyndra, a California solar firm that filed for bankruptcy in September after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department.

Chu denied that politics played a factor in making any decisions regarding Solyndra. House Republicans have alleged that campaign contributions from investors with the company influenced the administration’s decision.

My decision to guarantee a loan to Solyndra was based on the analysis of experienced professionals and the strength of the information they had available to them at the time,” Chu said.

At the hearing, Chu also declined to apologize for approving the $535 million loan guarantee, instead stressing that the company’s collapse was “extremely unfortunate.”

Chu said the Energy Department couldn’t have predicted that the cost of solar panels would drop, driving Solyndra and other solar panel manufacturers toward financial collapse.

For more on Thursday’s hearing, click here.

— Andrew Restuccia contributed to this story.