House Panel Set To Question Chu On Solyndra Loan

WASHINGTON (AP) - Energy Secretary Steven Chu is likely to face sharp questions today as the House Energy and Commerce Committee continues investigating a half-billion-dollar federal loan received by solar panel maker Solyndra Inc.

The company later declared bankruptcy and laid off its 1,100 workers.

Besides the initial loan, Chu also may be asked to explain why he approved a restructuring of Solyndra's debt that allowed two private investors to move ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of default.

In remarks prepared for delivery Thursday, Chu appeared ready to play defense. He said the Solyndra loan was subject to "proper, rigorous scrutiny and healthy debate" before it was approved in 2009.

While disappointed in Solyndra's bankruptcy, Chu says the U.S. should continue to support clean energy.