Remember the Solyndra disaster?
In an effort to “put Americans back to work,” the Obama Administration loaned the company $535 million to aid in the construction of a manufacturing plant for solar panels.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu called the investment “part of President Obama’s aggressive strategy to put Americans back to work.” Ultimately, the company ended up having to lay off droves of employees and filed for bankruptcy, despite its original promise to create thousands of new jobs.
An in-depth look at the Administration’s energy investments shows that Solyndra is just the tip of the iceberg.
Currently, there are 12 clean energy companies that received $6.5 billion in Department of Energy (DOE) loans that are struggling to meet expectations set in their federal loan applications.
As if Solyndra's losses weren't bad enough, since 2009, five other clean energy investments have gone into bankruptcy.
One of the largest failures has been Beacon Energy. The Tyngsboro, Mass. energy storage company went bankrupt after receiving $43 million in a DOE loan. Standard & Poor's saw this coming a mile away, giving the project an original outlook of CCC-plus, or a 70% chance of default.
Raser Technologies, based in Utah, has never produced more than 5 megawatts of power at its plant. It's burned through hundreds of millions in investments, including a $33 million federal loan.
Other failures include Eastern Energy, Evergreen Technologies and SpectraWatt. These five failed clean energy investments received DOE loans, state loans and stimulus funds exceeding $140 million.
Obama seemed to have been a bit far too optimistic in his pledge. Sales of electric vehicles have been dismal, with the Chevy Volt selling 38 per cent less than the 10,000 units forecast and having to be recalled due to exploding car batteries.
People aren't buying these cars, mostly because of their extravagant price tags. Even with $7,500 in stimulus tax credits for each vehicle, the standard model from Tesla Motors — which received a $465 million loan and has never posted a positive quarter — starts at $101,000.
Tesla's model sedan, due out in 2013, will go for $57,400. The cost of similar models from Fisker Motors is comparable.
Yet the Obama Administration continues to expect a return on the $5 billion in taxpayer dollars that have been allocated toward the electric car industry.
Barack Obama has also directly contradicted his pledge that all of his initiatives' green vehicles would be produced in America. Fisker, a car company that received DOE support outsourced their production to Finland.
Numerous green vehicle efforts are operating under 50 per cent capacity, including A123 Systems and Johnson Controls, which have received hundreds of millions in government support. Electric car company Aptera has gone bankrupt.
Yet a recent advertisement from the Obama campaign paints a very different picture about the President's record on green investments.
The map below represents the location of all DOE projects, whether they are proposed, in operation or have failed. Pay close attention to the locations in New York and California.
The original version of the DOE map appears to have been manipulated by the Obama campaign. Job sites where green initiatives failed have been removed. The new map has eliminated the locations of the bankrupt Beacon Power (NY) and Solyndra (CA) plants.
In addition, the advertisement touts job creation at more than 20 Prologis locations, where projects have been put on hold and little or no jobs have been created. These ghost projects are represented by red dots.
Head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa, says there is evidence indicating that the DOE indeed manipulated analysis and modified proposal evaluations to get loans out the door.
At least $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing has flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama Administration staffers and advisers.
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