The White House Friday ordered an independent probe into government loans to clean energy firms, after a solar panel firm which took half a billion dollars in public money went bankrupt.
The announcement by White House Chief of Staff William Daley came as Republicans crank up pressure on the administration over the loan made to California-based Solyndra and other outlays designed to spur green energy jobs.
"The President is committed to investing in clean energy because he understands that the jobs developing and manufacturing these technologies will either be created here or in other countries," Daley said.
"While we continue to take steps to make sure the United States remains competitive in the 21st Century energy economy, we must also ensure that we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars."
The independent analysis will be led by Herb Allison, a former Treasury Department official, and will focus on the Department of Energy's loan portfolio.
Daley said Allison was "tough, always tells it like it is, and we look forward to his thorough and candid assessment."
The White House announcement came after a Republican-led Energy and Commerce subcommittee of the House of Representatives scheduled a meeting next week to decide whether to subpoena White House documents on Solyndra.
Energy Secretary Stephen Chu will also face a grilling before the committee next month.
Obama's Republican foes have been hunting for evidence that politics at the White House improperly shaped the Energy Department's decision to provide Solyndra with a $535-million loan guarantee.
The White House has denied acting inappropriately.