A major part of the transformation is an attempt to defy the laws of economics and have politically-connected campaign donors and Washington central planners decide what kind of energy the country should use. The stimulus was packed with giveaways that allowed dozens of so-called “green” energy projects to sap taxpayer funds to advance Obama’s vision. However,they could only ignore market economics for so long and now the projects are starting to collapse. Who’s left holding the bill? Taxpayers.
President Obama spent $535 million of taxpayer stimulus money to prop up Solyndra, a solar panel company run by his political campaign contributors. Even though Department of Energy and White House staffers warned that the company’s business model would never work, the loan was rushed out the door anyway. Now that Solyndra has gone belly up, taxpayers are left holding the bill.
When government steps in to pick winners and losers based on politics it opens the door to even more crony capitalism. As we’ve already seen with Solyndra, government betting taxpayer dollars on unproven technologies is a very bad deal. A restrained federal government that doesn’t have taxpayer cash to spread around is essential to stopping the crony capitalism that’s ruining our markets.
The nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill that President Obama pushed after taking office was supposed to revive the economy, but it was really all about installing the Left’s vision to transform America. A major part of the transformation is an attempt to defy the laws of economics and have politically-connected campaign donors and Washington central planners decide what kind of energy the country should use. The stimulus was packed with giveaways that allowed dozens of so-called “green” energy projects to sap taxpayer funds to advance Obama’s vision. However,they could only ignore market economics for so long and now the projects are starting to collapse. Who’s left holding the bill? Taxpayers.
SOLYNDRA - $535 Million, Bankrupt
The California solar panel manufacturer received the very first stimulus green energy loan guarantee on September 4, 2009. Despite repeated warnings by Obama administration career and political staff that the company was not sound, the loan guarantee was rushed out the door.Two years later the company closed its doors, laid off 1,100 employees, and filed for bankruptcy.Two days after that, agents from the FBI raided the company’s headquarters. Solyndra CEO George Kaiser and other executives bundled more than $100,000 in Obama campaign donations;they also visited the White House over 20 times while the loan was being reviewed.
BEACON POWER – $43 million, bankrupt
The Massachusetts-based company received a $43 million loan guarantee to build a 20-megawattflywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York. Beacon was one of the first three recipients of federal backing. Despite the steep price-tag Obama administration officials estimated that it would “create or save” just 14 permanent jobs and create 20 temporary construction jobs. Citing the “current economic and political climate,” the onerous terms of the federal loan guarantee, and the company’s inability to obtain equity financing due to its recent delisting from the NASDAQ stock exchange, the company filed for bankruptcy on October 30.The company also got $29 billion in federal and Pennsylvania state grants for a 20-megawattplant in the Keystone State.
FISKER – $529 million stimulus for Finland
Collapsing companies aren’t the only green stimulus scandal. The Obama administration has also approved a plan by electric car company Fisker to use part of its $529 million federal stimulus loan guarantee to build its manufacturing facility, and the 500 jobs it supports, in Finland. The company is more than a year behind schedule to roll out its $97,000 luxury electric car, Karma. There have also been questions about the energy savings that Fisker says its electric car would bring. In a free market, companies should seek out the best place to produce their products. However, once politicians start handing out taxpayer dollars to support projects they prefer, sending our money to Finland to support manufacturing jobs is highly suspect.
SEVERSTAL – $730 million, under investigation
In an October 20thletter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa questioned why Severstal North America, a subsidiary of a leading Russian steel and mining company owned by wealthy business tycoon Alexei Mordashov, received a $730 million loan guarantee from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program. The loan supports improvements to the company’s advanced high strength steel plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Issa questioned the necessity of the loan given the company’s ample ability to self-finance. He also questioned whether it was appropriate to support the project under a program designed to advance clean-energy vehicles, especially given the strong supply of high quality steel already available in the U.S
Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: