(Washington Times) The White House contends that all energy loan guarantees, including the more than $500 million given to now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, are awarded solely on the merits of the project, with no political influence from President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden or other administration officials.

But a series of emails from solar power giant BrightSource Energy Inc. show how the company applied political pressure and used behind-the-scenes cajoling to win a $1.6 billion loan guarantee in April 2011.

Emails obtained by The Washington Times show BrightSource leaders discussing in great detail how to best push the Energy Department to green-light the loan to fund the company’s massive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California’s Mojave Desert, the largest loan guarantee issued by the administration.

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