Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… d with those of the department as a whole.” …"

"… e contractors’ pay to their performance. The advisory panel, created by Congress as part of the Defense Department funding bill in 2013, said in its final …"

"… orge W. Bush, also holds a seat on Sandia’s board. And former California Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, now a strategic advisor with the Baker Donelson law f …"

"… the Los Alamos and Livermore boards. Another panelist, former New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson, received nearly $450,000 from contractors at four of …"

Nuclear weapons lab used taxpayer funds to obtain more taxpayer funds

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A government auditor uncovers a textbook case of lobbying by a contractor at federal expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "lobbyist":

"… of doing business: Get one federal grant, and then use the profits to hire lobbyists — including former members of Congress — to meet with federal officia …"

"… said in a prepared statement that she had done nothing wrong. "I was not a lobbyist for Sandia and I did not contact any federal official — Congressional or …"

White House faces Democratic Senate revolt over nuclear security cuts

By James Arkin

Members of the Senate are asking Obama to increase spending to secure global nuclear weapons stocks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lamar Alexander":

"… levels in its fiscal 2016 budget. The Democrats were joined by Republicans Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Independents Bernie …"

Growing number of biosafety labs raises public health concern

By James Arkin

Construction of new biosafety labs a waste of money, possible threat to public health, say reports and experts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… acks that killed five people and raised the specter of bioterrorism in the United States, the number of high-level biosafety labs operated by governments, universi …"

Energy Department 'bet' on Fisker Automotive ends in bankruptcy

By Ronnie Greene

An Energy Department program meant to spur development of electric cars faces another setback with Fisker Chapter 11 filing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tesla Motors":

"… and another California electric car maker backed by political powerhouses, Tesla Motors. Tesla paid off its $465 million U.S. loan nine years early, but Fisker’ …"

The mess gets worse at Hanford’s nuclear site

By Rebecca LaFlure

A scientific dispute over cleanup of one of the most polluted sites in the country threatens to ensnare the Energy Department’s leaders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… 2 ruling to dismiss DOE, Suko, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2003, said. “It is necessary to read quite a bit into Knutson’s [of …"

More fudging on Energy Department guard force tests

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Another DOE security squad passes performance exams with improper, inside help

Excerpts from this story referencing "DOE":

"… ff” with low morale that works with other security agents to protect top DOE officials when they are at headquarters or traveling. One section of the r …"

"… ernal complaints that it had been mismanaged. A unnamed test evaluator in DOE’s troubled office of health, safety and security – which is responsibl …"

"… ystem, and did not demonstrate knowledge of “cover and concealment” in DOE offices. Glenn S. Padonsky, who directs the health and security office, s …"

"… ealth and security office, said in an official response to the report that DOE is creating a new performance evaluation system that should be in place by …"

Obama proposes shifting funds from nuclear nonproliferation to nuclear weapons

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Douglas Birch

Hundreds of millions of dollars proposed in spending on warheads

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… excess plutonium. Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, ducked multiple questions from Sen. Tim Scot …"

DOE inspector general recommends consolidating national labs

By Douglas Birch

DOE inspector general recommends the nation's 16 national atomic labs be streamlined or shut down.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Manhattan Project":

"… t of its nuclear and energy research programs has changed little since the Manhattan Project of the 1940s, when several labs now run by the agency worked together to p …"

Energy Department auto loan program sputters

By Ronnie Greene

A $25 billion Department of Energy loan program has not closed a loan in two years amid the specter of Solyndra.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… z, the Loan Programs Office’s acting executive director. …"

"… Accountability Office report, rekindle questions over how effectively the Energy Department picks winners and losers for its lucrative green Energy portfol …"

"… yet $4.2 billion remains in that pool of money, the GAO report said. The Energy Department does not expect to issue any more loans under a program once pi …"

"… ilable under the ATVM loan program,” the GAO’s Frank Rusco wrote. The Energy Department told auditors it had seven ATVM applications on file, totaling …"

Cheating on Energy Department guard force tests was widespread

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The reliability of protections at two key nuclear weapons sites is now unclear.

Excerpts from this story referencing "DOE":

"… d. A contract official who works both at Y-12 and another “high-security DOE” site told Friedman’s staff that the official “had taken similar act …"

"… ng facilities must not be left to chance.”But as his report makes clear, DOE has done it for years, as part of a culture of treating contractors as “ …"

"… lear weapons sites, a laid-back style of overseeing contract work in which DOE officials are not burdened with the responsibility of knowing how things s …"

"… agreements with the contractors from saying so even if they did know.Alas, DOE rules for Trusted Agents did not explicitly discuss how far contract offic …"

Break-in forges political consensus for tighter nuclear oversight

By R. Jeffrey Smith

There's widespread anger on Capitol Hill about a security breach at a vault for nuclear weapons-grade uranium.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy Department":

"… curing the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility in Tennessee and the Energy Department officials responsible for overseeing their work. The nun, Megan Rice, with …"

"… aring, but not invited to testify. She spoke up at one point to correct an Energy Department official who said the trio had cut through three fences, explaining that i …"

How an 82-year-old exposed security lapses at nuclear facilities

By R. Jeffrey Smith

How an 82-year-old has upended the lax regulation of the U.S. nuclear weapons establishment.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lockheed Martin":

"… ll still pending, have been cheered by the private firms, such as Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, and Babcock & Wilcox, that now run the nuclear weapons labs and relat …"

FACT CHECK: Green stimulus sending jobs overseas?

By FactCheck.Org

Conservative advocacy ad avoids the facts about Obama administration investments into sustainable energy.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… . The first part, according to a statement from Dan Leistikow, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, was a $169 million loan guarantee to support …"

"… inue hiring.”Fisker has raised over $1 billion in private equity, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told us. That private money was used to finance the manufac …"

Department of Energy knew of Solyndra risks, former FBI agent finds

By Ronnie Greene

Department of Energy knew the risks of backing Solyndra Inc. with a half-billion dollar loan, a former FBI agent found.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… t’s an ongoing investigation,” she could not comment. …"

"… pt.6, 2011. Two days later, it faced a raid by agents from the FBI and the Energy Department inspector general. With those clouds looming, the company’s b …"

"… dra throughout the loan guarantee time frame.”In fact, records show, the Energy Department supported the Solyndra financing in the early days of the Obama …"

"… ntee.And, the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News reported last year, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that conditional commitment to back Solyndr …"

Audit cites risk in DOE loan program

By Ronnie Greene

A new audit of the Department of Energy’s $34 billion loan guarantee program said the agency doesn’t always follow its own rules

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… ndards that are as high or higher than major financial institutions in the United States,” wrote David G. Frantz, acting executive director of the Loan Programs …"

DOE needs better risk management

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

In light of loans to companies like Solyndra, DOE needs better risk management of companies receving loans

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… ement them.” …"

"… aid White House spokesman Eric Schultz, “today’s report finds that the Department of Energy has been judicious in balancing these risks.”Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the r …"

"… to spotlight major problems early in the process.The White House said the Department of Energy “is reviewing the recommendations and will carefully identify the best w …"

Energy Dept. offered to put private investors ahead of taxpayers if Solyndra went bankrupt

By Ronnie Greene

Email trail shows Energy Department offered to put investors first if Solyndra collapsed

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… v. 3. …"

Emails show Energy Dept. sought to hide Solyndra layoffs until after 2010 elections

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

Energy Department pressed Solyndra to delay layoffs until after pivotal 2010 election

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… ayoffs last year after securing a half-billion dollar government loan, the Department of Energy dispatched an unusual request: Hold off announcing the cutbacks until afte …"

"… News and ABC News. “But as the 180,000 pages of documents that the Department of Energy turned over to the Committee indicate, the Department’s decisions about …"

Energy Dept. ignored warnings on Solyndra, say treasury emails

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

Officials say DOE was warned about refinancing of loan to solar firm Solyndra

Excerpts from this story referencing "DOE":

"… on dollar federal loan, a Congressional hearing Friday revealed. When the DOE refinanced the government's $535 million loan to the California solar pane …"

"… rtment documents released by the committee also show that officials warned DOE and the White House about the refinancing. The Office of Management and B …"

"… gement and Budget also raised questions, emails show. In December 2010, as DOE moved to restructure the loan, an OMB official wrote: “There are some qu …"

"… B official wrote: “There are some questions at the staff level about how DOE is going about the restructuring for Solyndra. At least one involves the l …"

Head of embattled energy loan program, Jonathan Silver, steps down

By Matthew Mosk and Ronnie Greene

Venture capitalist-turned-chief of embattled energy loan program resigns amid Solyndra fallout.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… s that did not work out. Solyndra was one of them." "All I can say is the Department of Energy made these decisions based on their best judgments," Obama said, defending …"

Bundlers on the inside

By Ronnie Greene, Matthew Mosk and Ronnie Greene

Top Obama fundraisers at Energy Department included an overseer of stimulus billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy Department":

"… rs went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative e …"

"… d $2.4 million in federal funds for legal fees related to the $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra, a solar company whose financial meltdown has p …"

"… ests to be interviewed. Representatives for Spinner, his wife, and for the Energy Department all told iWatch News and ABC News that Spinner and his wife took elab …"

"… irm’s work with companies that had applied for loans. Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman, described Spinner as someone who had “no role” in evaluatin …"

Obama administration agreed to Solyndra loan days after insiders foresaw firm's failure

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

White House committed half-billion dollars days after government insiders warned solar firm would 'run out of cash'

White House kept close tabs on Solyndra loan, internal emails show

By Matthew Mosk and Ronnie Greene

Top officials pushed for half-billion-dollar loan to troubled startup

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy Department":

"… uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored and tried to rush Energy Department deliberations over whether to make a $535 million taxpayer-backed loan to …"

"… me,” the analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email.Only 10 days later, the Energy Department formally announced its commitment to guarantee the loan, which the adminis …"

"… week, the FBI raided the factory as part of a joint investigation with the Energy Department’s inspector general.“This is not right. This is not good,” said Rep. …"

"… s at the company have a history of donating to Republicans. Obama’s Energy Department has said it backed Solyndra as a potential game changer in the clean tech …"

Missed warning signs: A Solyndra timeline

By Ronnie Greene

From the start, Energy Department pressed ahead with financial boost to now-failed solar startup.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arnold Schwarzenegger":

"… on of its "Fab 2" factory to expand its production line. Chu and then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attend the groundbreaking. "This announcement today is part of the unprece …"

Congressional hearing to focus on Obama administration loan to failed energy firm

By Matthew Mosk and Ronnie Greene

House focuses on government loan to solar firm Solyndra, backed by Obama fundraiser, which won $535 million before going under

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… money, but restructure the loan after the company began to struggle.“The Department of Energy conducted exhaustive reviews of Solyndra’s technology and business model …"

White House had role in federal benefit for failed solar company, House investigators say

By Matthew Mosk and Ronnie Greene

House panel says evidence shows White House played role in decision to provide loan guarantee to politically connected solar firm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy Department":

"… te House officials monitored Solyndra's application and communicated with [Energy Department] and Office of Management and Budget officials during the course of their …"

"… by supporters of the president. Yet the administration, from Obama to his Energy Department, has very publicly praised the loan guarantee. In 2009, the Obama adminis …"

"… it would file for bankruptcy and laid off more than 1,100 workers. While Energy Department officials steadfastly vouched for Solyndra -- even after an earlier round …"

"… s not a viable business plan." Other flags have been raised about how the Energy Department pushed the deal forward. The Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News and …"

Obama-backed solar firm collapses after big federal loan guarantee

By Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

Instead of creating jobs, heralded renewable energy firm puts people out of work. For how much will taxpayers be on the hook?

IMPACT: White House budget office turning over records on loan to politically connected firm

By Ronnie Greene

White House budget office turning over records on loan to politically connected firm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… Yet not long after securing the $535 million loan guarantee from Obama’s Department of Energy in 2009, Solyndra hit financial hurdles, laying off workers and canceling …"

"… hat have at times benefitted significant supporters of the president. The Department of Energy, which issued the guarantee, said it fully vetted the transaction and that …"

White House budget office raised risk on big solar loan guarantee

By Ronnie Greene and Jeremy Borden

OMB assigned a higher risk to Solyndra loan guarantee than Energy Department

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… ked financing now at the center of a House investigation. In 2009, as the Department of Energy pushed to close the $535 million loan guarantee to California solar panel …"

"… ent to set aside more money in case the company defaults on payments. The Department of Energy pressed ahead, formally approving the deal in September 2009 while portray …"

"… al decision for the loan guarantee rested with the Energy Department. The Department of Energy, responding to questions from iWatch News, said it does not discuss credit …"