U.S. Missed Solyndra Warning Signs

    FREMONT, CA - MAY 26:  U.S. President Barack Obama (L) tours the Solyndra solar panel company with Executive VP of Engineering Ben Bierman May 26, 2010 in Fremont, California. President Obama toured Solyndra Inc., a growing solar power equipment facility that is adding jobs as they expand their operation.  (Photo by Paul Chinn-Pool/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ben Bierman;Barack Obama

    Paul Chinn, Pool / Getty Images

    Executives for the solar panel company Solyndra go before a House investigative committee today, and they have some explaining to do. Even as the company secured a $535 million federal loan guarantee and was touted by the Obama administration as a harbinger of green jobs to come, the company's finances were a shambles. Having bet that silicon prices would remain high—an assumption analysts long doubted—Solyndra found itself selling its non-silicon panels at below cost. As for how the federal government could have overlooked the company's sorry state, Solyndra's intense lobbying effort might have something to do with it. The company spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbyists, while none of the other three solar panel manufacturers that got federal loan guarantees spent anything on lobbyists.

    Read it at The New York Times