The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a full committee hearing on Energy Department loan guarantees, Tuesday morning.
The hearing focused on the "Report of the Independent Consultant's Review with Respect to the Department of Energy Loan and Loan Guarantee Portfolio," and also examined Solyndra, which received more than half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees before it filed for bankruptcy last year.
House Republicans opened their investigation into Solyndra nearly 13 months ago, but this was the first time a Democratic-controlled Senate examined the program since Solyndra went under.
Herbert Allison, author of the report and former Treasury assistant secretary, testified along with Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
The White House commissioned the report last year at the height of the Solyndra scandal and it was released on Feb. 10 of this year.
It covers the current status of of loans and loan guarantees administered by the Energy Department to support alternative energy projects, as well as recommendations for managing and monitoring the programs and for identifying and fixing potential problems with individual loans and loan guarantees.
It reviews the Energy Department's portfolio of 30 loans, worth just under $24 billion, and shows potential losses from the program will likely be less than Congress and the White House projected, according to the White House.
The report includes recommendations on how to improve the programs by filling key positions in management, clarifying authorities and accountabilities of managers and the establishing of a comprehensive information management system to inform the early warning system for troubled loans.
The report was limited to companies still in operation and did not include Solyndra.