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By MATTHEW DALY Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Energy Secretary Steven Chu will testify next month on the Obama administration's decision to award a half-billion dollar loan to a solar panel maker that went bankrupt.

Chu is set to appear Nov. 17 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee as it investigates the Energy Department's $528 million loan to the California company Solyndra Inc.

Republican congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida is leading the investigation. He says he hopes Chu will provide answers about why the Energy Department, in his words, "consciously ignored the direct warnings from their own experts that Solyndra was doomed to fail."

A spokesman for Chu, Damien LaVera, said Thursday night that Chu intends to highlight what the administration is doing to help American workers and innovators compete in the global clean-energy market.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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