Yesterday National Review Online reported that a number of press releases previously released by the Department of Energy have been retroactively changed in order to remove the name of a solar company that may fail.
The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program — the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar company Solyndra.
Both were changed to remove the name of a company that has received negative press attention in recent days, SunPower, and replace it with the name of another company, NRG Energy.
In the April case, the Department of Energy loan programs office announced in a press release on April 12 “conditional commitment” to a $1.187 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project, which it said was “sponsored by SunPower Corporation.”
But that release was later changed on one website to say the project was “sponsored by NRG Energy.” The date on the release remained “April 12, 2011.”
National Review Reports:
Naturally, the DOE blames ‘outside contractors,’ who “inadvertently” altered the news bulletins while updating the loans program website.
The article at National Review goes on to look at the financial situation of SunPower. The company is deeply in debt and has stated that it will lower its earnings projections for 2011. Meanwhile, the total value of company’s stock dropped from an all-time high of $13 billion to $800 million. Unfortunately, the company has a debt of $820 million. This does not bode will for the future of the company.
The problem here is that old press releases were altered in a way that looks questionable. Unfortunately that seems to be part of the lack of transparency and behind the scenes manipulation that seems to be inherent in this administration.