During a November 17 House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing, Energy Secretary Steven Chu denied that there was any political interference in his decision to approve a $535 million loan guarantee for solar panel manufacturer Solyndra. Secretary Chu also told the subcommittee that the agency has improved its loan monitoring programs to provide more oversight and accountability as a result of the Solyndra bankruptcy. A number of House Republicans, including Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of the oversight subcommittee, continue to call on Secretary Chu to resign, but Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) defended him last week.