Are heads beginning to roll over at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over the Solyndra bankruptcy and the corresponding controversy surrounding it? This depends upon your perspective of a situation unfolding this afternoon: the resignation of DOE executive director Jonathan Silver.
Silver, according to the Washington Post, has decided to step down even as things around the Solyndra situation continue to simmer in Congress, with the Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) calling for expanded hearings and access to “all communications between White House staff and officials regarding now-bankrupt Solyndra’s $535 million loan guarantee.” Silver, who became the loan program’s leader in 2009, reportedly said in July he would be leaving the DOE after the program ended last week.
Where exactly is Silver heading? Earth2Tech reports he will be taking a role with Third Way, a think tank. That organization, in a statement released today, said it looked forward to working with Silver in his new role with them. The former DOE official, for his part, had to say of his move that “I’m excited to join Third Way, one the nation’s leading think tanks and a real thought leader on clean energy issue. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the team on energy policy and energy finance issues.”
The question will now arise, of course, as to whether he left the DOE because of the Solyndra fallout under his watch, or if it is simply a matter of really, really bad timing. Even as Silver gets ready to make the transition into the private sector, President Obama today was defending the loan guarantee program as a whole at a press conference.