Jonathan Silver to step down after Solyndra controversy


Ben Bierman (R) and Chris Gronet (L) lead U.S. President Barack Obama on a tour of the Solyndra solar panel company May 26, 2010, in Fremont, California. The company declared bankruptcy in August.


Paul Chinn

The head of the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee program, Jonathan Silver, will step down, the Washington Post reports.

Silver has come under fire as a result of the controversy surrounding the solar manufacturer Solyndra LLC. The solar company received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, but then declared bankruptcy on August 31.

More from GlobalPost: Solar panel company abruptly shuts down

Solyndra is a Fremont, Calif.-based manufacturer of solar panels that President Barack Obama held up as an example of the kind of green technology venture that would help America stay competitive in the global economy. The company announced it would file for bankruptcy due to crushing competition from overseas rivals and global economic conditions.

Silver was the Obama administration's point person on the initiative. He began running the program after DOE made the first loan to Solyndra, but he was still the person attacked by Congressional Republicans, the Post states.

Silver headed a $70 billion dollar investment program in alternative energy as well as a $20 billion investment program in advanced automotive technology.

Bloomberg reported last month that Silver's reputation as a successful venture capital investor was not tainted before the Solyndra controversy.

“He put together a total portfolio you could be proud of,” George Frampton, a former chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, told Bloomberg. “Nobody’s going to be terribly interested in looking at that now.”