Dem donor warned White House about Solyndra trip

October 3, 2011 - 2:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic fundraiser warned the White House to be "careful" about a planned trip by President Barack Obama to a California solar company, saying he was concerned about the company's growing financial problems.

Steve Westly, a Silicon Valley investor and Energy Department adviser, said in an email released by a House panel he was worried that Solyndra LLC, a solar panel maker that received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, might not survive. Westly said that if Obama did visit the company, he should avoid any remarks "that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra...files for bankruptcy."

Two days after the May 24, 2010, email Obama traveled to Fremont, Calif., to visit Solyndra's headquarters. Solyndra declared bankruptcy last month and laid off its 1,100 workers, sparking bipartisan criticism of the Obama administration's green energy program.