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White House Orders Independent Review Of Energy Department Loans

The White House today ordered an independent review of the Energy Department loans that were made under a clean-energy loan program to companies like Solyndra.

The AP reports:

The announcement of an independent review came as House Republicans prepared to meet next week for a possible vote on a subpoena of White House documents related to Solyndra Inc.

White House officials said the independent review would assess the health of other loans and loan guarantees made by the Energy Department program that supported Solyndra. Congressional Republicans have been investigating the company's bankruptcy amid embarrassing revelations that federal officials were warned it had problems but nonetheless continued to support it, and sent President Barack Obama out to appear at the company and praise it.

The AP adds that the review will not look at the loans given to Solyndra. The Wall Street Journal reports that White House Chief of Staff William Daley said the analysis "would focus on future loan-monitoring and management of the department's portfolio."

The AP reports the review will be handled by by former Treasury official Herb Allison, who also oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program and he will evaluate other loans made by the program.

"Today we are directing that an independent analysis be conducted of the current state of the Department of Energy loan portfolio, focusing on future loan monitoring and management," the AP quotes Daley as saying. "While we continue to take steps to make sure the United States remains competitive in the 21st century energy economy, we must also ensure that we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars."

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.