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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 17, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: First, the White House did it again! They waited until late Friday, about 6:00 PM, to dump more Solyndra documents on Congress. Now, those documents are ones that a House committee had been demanding. Why did the White House wait until late Friday at 6:00 PM to do it? You know why.
But that isn't even the big Solyndra news tonight. There is new information that suggests Secretary of Energy Steven Chu may be deeper in this scandal than the White House has been saying.
Congressman Cliff Stearns of the House Energy and Commerce Committee joins us. Good evening, sir.
REP. CLIFF STEARNS, R-FLA.: Good evening, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, new information just coming out -- not in the document dump tonight because that -- people haven't had a chance to sift through that, but Prologis. Who are they, and how do they play into the Solyndra scandal?
STEARNS: Well, first of all, they're part of the 1705 program, loan guarantee that Department of Energy gave out for Solyndra. They're headquartered in San Francisco. They're a huge company. They operate in 22 countries. And they got $1.4 billion from the Department of Energy to develop -- put solar panels on the roofs of their commercial buildings.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. When did they get that loan in relation to Solyndra going belly up?
STEARNS: Two months before Solyndra went belly up.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, and so they got a loan -- let's get this right. They got a loan from the federal government, taxpayers...
STEARNS: Department of Energy.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... to buy those panels that Solyndra was manufacturing.
STEARNS: Well, that wasn't, ostensibly, the reason. They were supposed to go out in the marketplace and buy these solar panels to put on their commercial buildings, their flat roofs across the United States. But it turns out some of the e-mails we got shows that there was some indication that Secretary Chu was an intermediary with the White House, saying that possibly this company could buy the solar panel from Solyndra before it went bankrupt.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, why in the world would that company want to buy them from Solyndra? From what we learned, is that Solyndra was making them at a price that exceeded the cost you could buy them from China. So what in the world would be the incentive for Prologis to buy them from Solyndra?
STEARNS: We did a letter to the White House with just that very question, asking, What was the deal? Why would Prologis buy from Solyndra at a higher price when they could buy it in the open market for cheaper? And second of all, did Solyndra actually provide to Prologis solar panels? How many, and what effect was the contract?
VAN SUSTEREN: Why were we giving federal stimulus money in a loan to Prologis? I went on the Internet, and this is a company that has $43.3 billion in assets. They say they're the leading owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and they operate, apparently, 600 million square feet. Why do they need our money?
STEARNS: They don't. And that's -- that's really what is the basis of, I think, the investigation of the O&I committee that I chair, is we see favoritism, Greta, throughout the stimulus package.
In fact, you know, today is one year ago we started the Solyndra investigation. And three years to this date, this very date, the 17th of February, was the $750 billion stimulus package. So in effect, what we see throughout all these stimulus packages is favoritism towards their campaign contributors.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, how does -- how does a loan of $1.4 billion -- and we're so used to these numbers that billion...
STEARNS: Yes. Right.
VAN SUSTEREN: We've sort of gotten desensitized to it, but a billion's a lot of money, is how did $1.4 billion to this very successful $43.3 billion...
VAN SUSTEREN: How many jobs did that generate? Where's the stimulus?
STEARNS: Yes, I can't imagine they generate any jobs. Just like, you know, you saw that Duke Energy got $230 million and they generated 196 jobs.
VAN SUSTEREN: And who's the -- and who's the CEO of Duke Energy?
STEARNS: Jim Rogers is the CEO. He's now co-chair of the national Democrat convention. So that would indicate, you know, some kind of -- I would think some favoritism. But the larger question is, how much has the White House been involved in manipulating and making sure these loan work out...
VAN SUSTEREN: Well...
STEARNS: ... as they promote these loans across the program?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there are a couple -- there are a couple -- Why are we loaning money to an expensive company? That's the first thing. Now...
STEARNS: They could go to the bank themselves.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. I mean, are they -- it looks like they could sell fund for that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Two, is that why -- what jobs did it possibly create? Three is why would they want to buy Solyndra panels if they're more expensive than they can get in China? And four, it looks like, you know, Solyndra since couldn't sell the panels themselves that we go out and loan money to somebody else and say, Use that money to buy from Solyndra because they're going belly up! That's what it looks like.
STEARNS: It looks like an example...
VAN SUSTEREN: It looks funny to me!
STEARNS: Yes, like you're giving me money to go to buy something from somebody you also gave money to, too. So it's really a circle of just circulating taxpayers' money at taxpayers' expense.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, I realize you get these documents 6:00 PM on Friday night, these Solyndra documents, and I assume you're going to get documents on Prologis so we can figure out who are the -- who runs it, whether there are any political connections, and whether there's any legitimate reason to have this loan and even whether any jobs were developed. I figure -- you're going to go after that, right?
STEARNS: We're going to go after that and try and look at the contract that was developed between Prologis and Solyndra, and actually to see if any products were bought and what was the price of those products.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the -- and let's not forget the whole goal, to stimulate the economy. Anyway, Congressman, thank you, sir.
STEARNS: All right, Greta. Thank you.