President Barack Obama told an audience in Wisconsin Thursday that should he win a second term, his administration would continue to gamble with taxpayer dollars on green energy projects, confessing that “some of the business we encourage” with government loans “will fail” like Solyndra.
“Not all of the technologies we bet on will pan out,” Obama admitted. ”Some of the businesses we encourage will fail, but I promise you this… There’s a future for clean energy here in America, and I refuse to cede that future to other countries.”
Last week, when a Denver reporter confronted Obama about his green energy failures such as Abound Solar, the President chuckled and dismissed the premise.
Obama said failed green energy projects like Solyndra and Abound only represented “four precent” of investments and claimed politics had “nothing to do” with government loans to Solyndra and Abound even though top executives for both companies were Obama bundlers during the 2008 campaign.
Pat Stryker, an Obama bundler, was an original investor in Abound and visited the White House before the loan was approved. When watchdog groups tried to unearth Abound’s trade secrets through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the Obama administration refused to comply, claiming releasing the trade secrets would hurt a company that no longer exists. Investigations into Abound have revealed the company’s solar panels may have been shoddy and were not even deserving of being considered for government loans. One investigator said employees have told him “either people at Abound knew they couldn’t produce a good product and they misled the DOE … or the DOE knew how bad the product was and they were willing to overlook it simply because the politics of green energy is such a feel good political movement.”
The Obama administration also loaned solar panel manufacturer Solyndra over $500 million in government loans and continued to prop up the company even after it had clear evidence Solyndra was failing.
The Obama administration has also loaned millions to the electric car industry — and many of these companies have spectacularly collapsed.
Obama touted GM’s Chevy Volt and last year said there would be over a million Volts on the market. Chevy, though, could not sell the cars because of poor consumer demand. One writer referred to the Volt as “Obamacar” and predicted the Volt’s failure foreshadowed the results of “Obamacare.” Chevy temporarily ceased production of the vehicle. The company that supplied batteries for the Volt went bankrupt.
Then there is A123 Systems, which supplied defective batteries to Fisker Automative, an electric car company that was the beneficiary of $193 million in green energy loans from the Obama administration. Fisker was slated to get $529 million in loans before payments were suspended because the company was failing.
In mid-October, A123 Systems, after receiving nearly $250 million in green energy loans, filed for bankruptcy.
In 2011, Obama touted A123 Systems in a speech on green energy.
“There’s A123, a clean-energy manufacturer in Michigan that just hired its 1,000th worker as demand has soared for its vehicle components,” Obama said. “Companies like these are taking root and putting people to work in every corner of the country.”
Many of Obama’s green energy loans not only wasted taxpayer monies by having a reverse-Midas effect, but also gave employees these companies hired a false security of job security, as massive layoffs ensued after companies like Solyndra and A123 went bust.
And while the Obama administration has continued to insist politics have not played a role in how these loans were made, the House Oversight Committee released over 150 emails on Wednesday that “demonstrate that non-political, career Department of Energy employees felt political pressure from sources as high as the President, Vice President, Secretary Chu and senior White House officials” to make many green energy loans they may not have thought were prudent. These e-mails also pointed to a “breakdown of due diligence that ended up wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.”
Yet, Obama still cavalierly seems to have no problem wasting billions more and making green energy “bets” with the full knowledge that many of them will spectacularly fail.
Here is a compilation of some of the most spectacular Obama administration green-energy failures:
The Amonix Solar: The manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants given by Obama Administration, has closed its 214,000 square-foot facility a year after it opened.
Solar Trust of America: Filed for bankruptcy in Oakland, CA, on April 3, 2012.
Bright Source: Bright Source warned Obama’s Energy Department officials in March 2011 that delays in approving a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the White House and force the solar energy company to close. Bright Source then received more money.
Solyndra: Obama gave $500,000,000 in taxpayer money to Solyndra who shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in August 2011 after billions in losses due to failure to make a solar product that works.
LSP Energy: LSPEnergy LP filed for bankruptcy protection and conducted a sale of its assets in Feb. 2012.
Energy Conversion Devices: On February 14, 2012 Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy.
Abound Solar: Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from Barack Obama, then announced in June, 2012 that it would file for bankruptcy.
SunPower: SunPower stopped producing solar cells in 2011 at near bankruptcy, then restructured with the help of an oil company.
Beacon Power: Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy protection in October, 2011 just a year after Obama approved a $43 million Government loan guarantee. They remain barely in business, still struggling to make energy that makes sense or that works at all.
Ecotality: ECOtality, a San Francisco green-tech company that never earned any money and remains on the verge of bankruptcy after receiving roughly $115 million in two loan guarantees from President Obama.
A123 Sola: A123 Solar received $279 million from taxpayers thanks to President Obama’s Department of Energy loan guarantees even after the Solyndra bankruptcy and is getting another $500 million from Obama after a loss of $400 million.
Uni-Solar: Uni-Solar filed for Ch 11 bankruptcy in June 20, 2012 after laying off hundreds of workers. UniSolar received even more Obama money after showing now progress, no profits and is still failing… yet they still remain in business with Obama’s help.
Azure Dynamics: Azure Dynamics filed for bankruptcy in June of 2012 after wasting millions in stimulus money.
Evergreen Solar: Evergreen Solar received $527 Million in Taxpayer money from Obama and filed bankruptcy in late 2011. Evergreen, which closed its taxpayer-supported Devens factory in March, 2011 cut more than 1800 jobs. Evergreen’s $450 million factory, turned out to be a colossal “waste” of taxpayer money.
Ener1: Ener1 Inc. received a $118 million U.S. Energy Department grant from President Obama to make electric-car batteries but filed for bankruptcy protection January 2012 after defaulting on bond debt.