President Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, would not tell House members today how many companies that have received loan guarantees might go bankrupt, nor would he promise to provide the list of companies at risk to Congress.
"I don't, again, recall the exact number," Chu said in the course of repeated questioning from House Subcommittee on Energy and Power lawmakers who wondered how many companies might follow Solyndra into bankruptcy. "The American taxpayer has every right to expect that there is a reasonable chance of repayment for every loan that we give out," Chu did allow.
Chu also refused to promise that he would have his staff give the committee a list of the companies that have received DOE loan guarantees. "We will do what we can," Chu told Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas. "We don't want to violate company confidentialities; the dynamics of what happens in these companies changes pretty rapidly."
Burgess suggested that, at some point -- given the taxpayer money already lost through the loan program -- the desires of the companies should be trumped by the interests of the taxpayers.