Ranking Members Waxman and DeGette Call for Testimony from Solyndra Investors

Sep 19, 2011

Today Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette sent a letter to Chairman Cliff Stearns urging him to invite representatives from Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capital Partners to testify on their investment in Solyndra.

The full text of the letter is below.

   September 19, 2011

The Honorable Cliff Stearns
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Stearns:

            We are pleased that you are planning a September 23 hearing to take the testimony of Solyndra executives.  We are writing to request that you seek the testimony of representatives of Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capital Partners at either this hearing or one in the future.

            One important question for the Committee to examine is whether there were sound reasons to make an investment in Solyndra.  Some sophisticated and experienced private venture capital investors thought the answer was yes, and invested over $1 billion in Solyndra – twice the support provided by the federal government.  The Committee would benefit from hearing the views of these private investors as we assess the merits of federal decisions regarding the Solyndra loan guarantee.

            In particular, we ask that you seek testimony from Argonaut and Madrone, the two top private investors in the company.  Representatives of each, Argonaut Managing Director Steve Mitchell, and Madrone Founder and General Partner Jameson McJunkin, served on Solyndra’s board and should be well acquainted with the company.  Mr. Mitchell and Mr. McJunkin could provide the Committee with perspective on why Solyndra attracted so much private capital, Solyndra’s representations about its economic prospects, and the external factors that have been affecting the U.S. solar industry.

            We appreciate your consideration of this request.


Henry A. Waxman
Ranking Member               
Diana DeGette
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Oversightand Investigations


The Honorable Fred Upton
Committee on Energy and Commerce