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Chu, Allison to Appear at Senate Hearing on Energy Loans

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will appear before a U.S. Senate committee next month to discuss an Obama administration-ordered analysis of his agency’s clean-energy loan program, which gave money to failed Solyndra LLC.

Chu will be joined at the March 13 Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing by former Treasury Department official Herbert Allison, who wrote the report, according to a panel statement today. Allison’s Feb. 10 report said long-term losses on 30 U.S. clean-energy loans and loan guarantees might be about $2.7 billion, or $200 million less than the department’s estimate.

The Energy Department should also take additional steps to reduce the chances of default, such as creating the position of chief risk officer to review the loan programs, according to Allison’s analysis.

The White House ordered the report and hired Allison after Republicans criticized the loan program following the collapse of Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that filed for bankruptcy protection in September, two years after winning a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee.

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