"The First Solar Scheme" has three sections: (1) the obviously political aims of a Republican opponent of the president; (2) the technical aspects of the DOE loan program and the original congressional language that authorized the loans -- which Issa says the DOE violated in granting First Solar project loans; and (3) the scope of Issa's Oversight committee as a matter of House procedures in determining the fate of any First Solar project loan guarantee.
Politics and House procedures favor First Solar. The technical issues related to the language used in the congressional authorization may seem complicated, but they are fairly straightforward. One thing that has become clear to me in all the time covering the DOE loan guarantee program and Solyndra is the extent to which the DOE was extremely deliberative in this process, with it being brand new territory for all concerned. In the words of several lawyers with whom I have spoken, who represented projects that applied for the DOE loan program, the one phrase used over and over again to describe the process was that it's "like a slow death."
This process makes for a voluminous file of emails to cherry-pick from in making allegations. In the end, there does not seem to be any smoking gun for Issa among the thousands of words he expended in his damning House report.
The political aspects of the Issa vs. First Solar situation can be boiled down to three findings.
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