U.S. Missed Solyndra Warning Signs

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.