Logo credit: Sloane
Stepped down or pushed out?
Will he hush up now — or sing?
The head of the Energy Department’s controversial loan guarantee program has decided to step down, department officials confirmed to The Washington Post on Thursday.
Jonathan Silver, who was named executive director of DOE’s Loan Programs Office in November 2009, has come under fire from congressional Republicans since the solar manufacturer Solyndra declared bankruptcy Aug. 31 after receiving a $535 million federal loan guarantee. While DOE made the initial loan to Solyndra before Silver took the program’s helm — a point he made repeatedly during his congressional testimony last month — he remained the administration’s point person for the embattled initiative.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement Thursday that Silver had informed him in July, when it was clear that no significant new funds were being budgeted for the loan program, that he would leave at the end of the fiscal year.
The program’s authorization expired Friday: On its last day the agency committed an additional $4.7 billion in loan guarantees to support four major clean-technology projects across the country.
Silver won’t be around to kick when the report cards come due on that latest round of loans. Or for follow-up on the near-approval of that second round of Solyndra funding Doug Powers blogged earlier today.
Look who else is knock, knock, knockin’ on Steve Chu’s door:
Senate Dems ask Chu for report on US clean energy investment.