Obama defends loan to defunct solar panel company

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama says the U.S. must continue to give clean energy companies loan guarantees in order to compete with Chinese subsidies that entice companies to move offshore.

Obama is defending his administration’s decision to give a $528 million loan guarantee to a solar energy company that later collapsed.

Obama says the loan guarantee program inherently carried risk and his administration knew some companies were not going to be successful. But he says the process used to award the loan to solar panel maker Solyndra was straight-forward and based on merits. He said members of both parties have supported such deals.

Solyndra declared bankruptcy last month and laid off its 1,100 workers. Despite its collapse, Obama says that overall, the loan guarantee program has been successful and has created jobs.