Chu takes responsibility for Solyndra — but not blame

posted at 11:35 am on November 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

One of the key roles of any Cabinet Secretary is that of a firewall for the President — a person to take the blame when things go wrong.  As the Solyndra scandal deepens, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu went to Congress this morning to fulfill that role … in part, anyway.  Chu released his opening statement to the press this morning, in which he takes responsibility but ducks any remorse or blame for the Solyndra debacle:

“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 has written in testimony prepared for his first appearance before Congress to answer questions about the failed loan.

“I want to be clear: over the course of Solyndra’s loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political considerations,” says Chu’s prepared testimony, which was made public by his aides late Wednesday. “My decision to guarantee a loan to Solyndra was based on the analysis of experienced professionals and on the strength of the information they had available to them at the time.”

Well, that’s false on its face.  DoE auditors raised red flags on the Solyndra loan well before its approval, but got overruled by the political appointees, including Chu.  Not only did Chu approve the loan, the DoE also got Solyndra a sweetheart deal on the rate.  Even Solyndra’s investors thought that it had turned into a risky bet, and the DoE was well aware of it at the time.

Taking “responsibility” is an empty gesture.  Of course Chu is responsible for the Solyndra loan; he’s the Secretary of Energy, after all.  He’d be equally “responsible” if the loan turned out well.  We need to know why Chu and his staff overruled the auditors to push this loan at the same time that Obama bundler George Kaiser and his staff were paying visits to the White House to push subsidies for his company, and why the DoE interfered to keep Solyndra from announcing layoffs before the midterm elections, among many other questions.   Chu’s responsible for those actions, too — but we need to know whether that responsibility goes farther than Chu.

Here’s another piece of news from Chu’s testimony today that isn’t exactly a shocker, either:

 U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Thursday he does not expect the government to recover much of the $535 million in loan aid it doled out to failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

“That remains to seen, but I’m anticipating not very much,” Chu told lawmakers at a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce hearing on the government’s handling of the Solyndra loan.

And why is that?  It’s because Chu and the DoE illegally subordinated taxpayer loan guarantees to a new investment infusion by Kaiser, protecting his money at the expense of ours.  Chu probably wants to take responsibility without blame for that action, too.

We’ll have more from the Chu hearing today, I’m sure.  Reason has a live blog going, and this little tidbit should have eyes rolling all over Capitol Hill and beyond:

11:16: Chu just said he didn’t know the Bush DoE had turned down Solyndra’s loan. Didn’t he?

He approved the loan without knowing that the previous administration had shelved it?  This must be the New Competence that we get with Nobel Prize winners at the helm in the executive branch.

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Can’t the illegal subordination just be voided?

Darksean on November 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Get this man a promotion, STAT.

Jeddite on November 17, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Somebody please come shoot me. That asshat is a lying sack of poop and he can do that with any repercussions. How is it we have morons like Chu unilaterally pissing away tens of billions of dollars?

David in ATL on November 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM

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

And how does that jive with the facts that the DOE loan analysis officers were being pressed to rubberstamp rush finish their analysis in time for a presidential photo op?

parke on November 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

The mystery to me is, why Issa doesn’t have half the 0bama regime in prison already.

They’re making it so easy.

Rebar on November 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Not in the taxpayers’ interest – but the enviro-nuts.

OldEnglish on November 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

“Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Chu? You ah thru talkin’!”

Ward Cleaver on November 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Can’t the illegal subordination just be voided?

Darksean on November 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM

What, and lose 100 million $’s in obambi campaign donations. nanzi pelousy is shocked that you even asked the question.

VegasRick on November 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Chu’s responsible for those actions, too — but we need to know whether that responsibility goes farther than Chu.

Further is an immeasurable distance! Responsibility goes further, not farther! Farther is a measurable distance!

herm2416 on November 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

OldEnglish on November 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Nuts’, moron!

Punctuation is everything.

OldEnglish on November 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Steven Chu said on Thursday he does not expect the government to recover much of the $535 million in loan aid it doled out to failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

“That remains to seen, but I’m anticipating not very much,” Chu told lawmakers

The hell with this, Ed. This pisses me off big time. Does Chu mean to tell us that the government that can reach out and grab you for not paying $50 damn bucks on your taxes to the IRS will, on the other hand, shrug off over a half a billion damn dollars that they won’t even try to recoup???? W–T—F**K?

ted c on November 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

He could be the first Minister Secretary of Truth.

Ward Cleaver on November 17, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Chu released his opening statement to the press this morning, in which he takes responsibility

JUST WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? Is Chu going to write a personal check to cover the losses sustained by taxpayers? OR is he going to recommend that DOE’s budget get cut by 1/2 billion next year?

HEY! I’d like everyone at Hot Air to know that I TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for WWII.

Someone on that committee needs to pull out a sword and invite Stevie to fall on it!

GarandFan on November 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

on the other hand, shrug off over a half a billion damn dollars that they won’t even try to recoup???? W–T—F**K?

ted c on November 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Get use to being pissed off bro. The next 14 months will be the worst of our lifetime. I expect things to be very ugly.

VegasRick on November 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Chu is in no position to take “responsibility” (whatever the hell that means in actuality, other than “ignore that man pulling my strings”) because he had no idea what he was doing, other than using ideology and hoping it works.

WSJ had the clearest insight in an editorial yesterday. The capital allocated to renewables, ethanol, GM, Amtrak, etc. by the poltical process goes there because no one in their right mind would risk their own capital on enterprises that are unmistakeable economic failures. It takes government, which takes money under duress, to fund these failures. By definition, the process picks and funds the least economic of alternatives. Sometimes that makes sense, but not when research physicists and community organizers play at venture capital adventures.

If this were Japan and Chu would resign in shame, forfeit any pensions, etc….suffer some harm…I would take his “full responsibility” claim as partly honorable. As it is, it’s just more horse manure from Barack the First’s factory.

Harry Schell on November 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM

PROSECUTE the lies!

This stuff HAS to be stopped!

ie: layoffs weren’t delayed to after 2010 elections by white house.

golfmann on November 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

This:

11:16: Chu just said he didn’t know the Bush DoE had turned down Solyndra’s loan. Didn’t he?

shows that this:

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

is a total lie.

LASue on November 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

on the other hand, shrug off over a half a billion damn dollars that they won’t even try to recoup???? W–T—F**K?

ted c on November 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Welcome to Obama’s Brave New World, Citizen. Do as you’re told, and there won’t be any need to “re-educate” you.

Wethal on November 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Just like Janet Reno and Waco.

NoDonkey on November 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Seppuku.

portlandon on November 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

LASue on November 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Cynic!

I’ll just bet that you don’t believe in AGW, either.

OldEnglish on November 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM

If Chu’s responsible, he should go to jail. Maybe he can join Holder.

rbj on November 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

” — but not blame.”

Reminds me of Janet Reno in the Waco investigations…

… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Obama and his goons are skilled liars and obfuscators.

rplat on November 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Cynic!

I’ll just bet that you don’t believe in AGW, either.

OldEnglish on November 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I was going to go with Racist! but then I remembered that choo is not black.
/

VegasRick on November 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I want to be clear….

Stevel on November 17, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Doh

Dear leader can’t use the but bush did it now

cmsinaz on November 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Responsibility without blame (or credit) is an oxymoron.

Truman: The buck stops here.

Chu: The buck stops here — but somebody else has to pay the bill!

Dishonest jerk. Fits the O regime perfectly.

jwolf on November 17, 2011 at 11:59 AM

NoDonkey on November 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Great minds and all…

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Chu this, mutha f**ka!

UltimateBob on November 17, 2011 at 12:04 PM

For once, I really do blame the Chu’s.

Shy Guy on November 17, 2011 at 12:09 PM

I wouldn’t let this guy chine my chus.

TXUS on November 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Let’s see HIS birth certificate.

ultracon on November 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM

If this were Japan and Chu would resign in shame, forfeit any pensions, etc….suffer some harm…I would take his “full responsibility” claim as partly honorable. As it is, it’s just more horse manure from Barack the First’s factory.

Harry Schell on November 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM


..if this were Japan, Chu would disembowel himself while Issa or Grassley used a sword to strike of his lying head.

The War Planner on November 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Reminds me of David Fry’s old imitation of Nixon from the ’70s: “I accept all the responsibility…but none of the blame.”

Hucklebuck on November 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I guess laws are just for the little people.

retiredeagle on November 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Take “responsibility” from under the bus, Chu !!! You owe US half a billion!

Steve Z on November 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Gotta love it when a politician or political appointee says they take “full responsibility” and then walk away totally unscathed when something goes horribly wrong.

Can’t RICO cover some of this fraud on the US taxpayers?

Can we put a lien on everything this Chu owns? On all the other DoE and White House individuals involved? Can we, the taxpayers, sue the entire Solyndra/DoE syndicate to recover all monies owed us?

Oh yeah, the Holder DoJ sees nothing wrong here. Just a bad business venture.

A half-billion just disappears and this Administration yawns.

Full responsibility my butt.

coldwarrior on November 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Take “responsibility” from under the bus, Chu! You owe US half a billion!

Steve Z on November 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Steve Z on November 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Worth repeating. :-)

coldwarrior on November 17, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Why should this administration and its cronies worry about throwing billions of dollars down the toilet? There’s always more where that came from, right?

RebeccaH on November 17, 2011 at 12:34 PM

More modern moral bankruptcy.

The responsibility-blame-shame triangle truthfully exists (and should be compelled by society to do so) within a contained circle of the self. Led by progressive relativism and narcissism, our age has shattered the circle. The self now floats free of this puritannical containment. We’re so superior to this. We can land on “responsibility” but never need touch blame or shame, never suffer actual consequences or pangs of conscience.

rrpjr on November 17, 2011 at 12:35 PM

NPR dutifully spinning this morning that Solyndra loan is just like the tax-breaks that the rest of the energy industry has enjoyed for decades.

Huh? Tax provisions are laws that apply across a whole industry, presumably to make that industry perform better, and while it may be that many such tax breaks are poor investments by the American people, they are at least applied widely and openly as part of a codifed set of regulations.

Solyndra was a sweetheart deal for a Democrat crony-capitalist, and after it started going bad, it was deliberately hushed up until after the last election.

By the way, if Chu is such a genius, was there no way the drop in the going price for solar arrays could have been anticipated? It is amazing how so many “unexpected” mishaps befall this “adminstration of geniuses”. Maybe they have never heard of the cutting-edge tools used by so many business-people, such as the ultra-secret “business plan”.

drunyan8315 on November 17, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Chu and his boss are tiny men.

Schadenfreude on November 17, 2011 at 12:40 PM

If Chu is Sonichu, this makes 0bama CWC.

Sekhmet on November 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Chu takes responsibility for Solyndra — but not blame

They are not mutually exclusive. One goes with the other.

Kini on November 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Does this genius fella Chu running DoE understand Seppuku?

coldwarrior on November 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM

This is the liberal/Democrat answer to public financing of election campaigns. The government gives money through direct loans and guarantees to companies like Solyndra. Then the private investors in those companies give money to the campaigns of liberals and Democrats. There you have it, public financing of liberal campaigns. It’s like a money laundering operation. If someone finds out, the Democrats just find a lackey to “take responsibility” and put his head on the chopping block. Obama has taken the scam to a new level by finding a Nobel laureate to who is willing to say, in essence, that he is a financial doofus.

The next part of the scam, when they’re caught, is for the liberals to demand that a new rule or regulation be passed to prevent these “inadvertant mistakes” from happening again. The proposed new rule will include public financing of election campaigns, and restrictions on lobbying. This is the old misdirection and changing of the subject ploy, and it works like a charm with the liberal political base.

stefano1 on November 17, 2011 at 12:58 PM

If this were Japan and Chu would resign in shame, forfeit any pensions, etc….suffer some harm…I would take his “full responsibility” claim as partly honorable. As it is, it’s just more horse manure from Barack the First’s factory.
Harry Schell on November 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM

That’s why he’s not in Japan but here, land of opportunity, for those with the right connections where they can be responsible but not blameworthy, in charge but not accountable. This is Obamatown.

Chessplayer on November 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Obviously there is a critical shortage of Nobel Laureates in government.

Cicero43 on November 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

We have a winnah! Congrats to Steve Chu, the new holder of the “Dumbest Smart Guy in DC” cup…

mojo on November 17, 2011 at 1:26 PM

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

So how is the taxpayer’s interest being protected when the investor’s in the company get their money out before the taxpayer? This is so wrong, yet goes on and on and on and on…..

bopbottle on November 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM

If Chu’s responsible, he should go to jail. Maybe he can join Holder.

rbj on November 17, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Where they can both take remedial reading.

Barnestormer on November 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM

People need to go to jail for this swindle and Fast and furious.

dogsoldier on November 17, 2011 at 3:19 PM

People need to go to jail for this swindle and Fast and furious.

They won’t even be made to resign or retire. How could they be punished when they only did Obama’s bidding? It’s Obama that needs to be impeached. But this is Obamatown.

Chessplayer on November 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

“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 has written in testimony prepared for his first appearance before Congress to answer questions about the failed loan.

… adding, “And by ‘the taxpayer’ I mean George Kaiser.”

DrSteve on November 17, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Responsibility (noun)

1 : the quality or state of being responsible: as
a : moral, legal, or mental accountability
b : reliability, trustworthiness

2 : something for which one is responsible : burden

Synonyms: blame, fault, liability

Responsible (adj)

1
a : liable to be called on to answer
b (1) : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent
(2) : being the cause or explanation
c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties

2
a : able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations : trustworthy
b : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
3 : marked by or involving responsibility or accountability
4 : politically answerable; especially : required to submit to the electorate if defeated by the legislature —used especially of the British cabinet

Synonyms: accountable, amenable, answerable, liable

Blame (noun)

1 : an expression of disapproval or reproach : censure

2
a : a state of being blameworthy : culpability
b archaic : fault, sin

3 : responsibility for something believed to deserve censure

Synonyms: culpability, fault, guilt, onus, rap

Apparently I didn’t study from the correct source prior to taking the SAT years ago. Nor did I learn these words correctly during grade school & high school. Damn private non-union schools!

This is what happens if you are a leftist intellectual… Obama is cut from the same cloth.

Danny on November 17, 2011 at 7:33 PM

we need prof the folks in the Obama admin must pass a basic reading comprehension test.
Obama needs to regulate his flunkeys that they must affirm that they read all memos sent to them. There a pastern hear Obamas admin excuse for everything is no I didn’t read the report memo sent to me!

I think we now know what Obama is referring to when he talks about lazy Americans he is describing his own admin!

DSchoen on November 17, 2011 at 10:45 PM