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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Energy Secretary Steven Chu staunchly defended decisions he made on Solyndra on Thursday as he came under a withering attack from Republicans during a grueling, media-packed hearing that lasted about five hours.

The now-bankrupt solar panel maker, beneficiary of more than $500 million in government funding, was once held up by President Barack Obama, Chu and other top administration officials as a model of how they wanted to promote green energy and spur job growth.

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