The Obama administration has taken energy subsidies to a whole new level. They have doled out billions promoting “green jobs” and “green energy.” Predictably, this money has been wasted on boondoggle after boondoggle as billions of taxpayer dollars were given to companies who couldn’t make a product that private investors would purchase. Everyone knows of Solyndra, but there are many more companies that have taken millions and have failed, laid off workers, or have a bleak financial outlook.
In 2009, Solyndra received a $528 million loan from the Obama administration. In 2010, President Obama visited the company said that “the true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.” The loan to Solyndra was issued despite warnings from Department of Energy staffers that the company would not survive. In August 2011, the Department of Energy’s staffers were proved right as Solyndra filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers.
In 2009, Beacon Power received a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for $43 million dollars as well as an additional $29 million from the federal government and Pennsylvania. In October 2011,Beacon filed for bankruptcy $47 million in debt.
In 2008, Evergreen Solar received a $58 million in financial aid from Massachusetts to build in the state. But in August 2011, Evergreen announced that it was filing for bankruptcy, closing its plant in Massachusetts, firing 65 people in Europe and the U.S., and opening a factory in China.
In 2007, under the Bush administration, Range Fuels received a $76 million grant from the Department of Energy to produce cellulosic ethanol. In 2008, they received a further $80 million loan from the federal government’s biorefinery assistance program and they received an additional $6 million from the state of Georgia. In January 2011, Range Fuels closed its refinery without producing a single drop of fuel. RangeFuels was heavily backed by Vinod Khosla who has given $350,000 to campaigns and committees. Khosla is also an owner of the company that purchased the remains of Range Fuels.
In 2010, Amonix, a solar cell producer, received $9.5 million from the stimulus bill. They also received a $15.6 million grant from the Department of Energy during the Bush administration. In January 2012, Amonix laid off 200 workers just seven months after opening its largest manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, with promises that operations would pick up in the second half of 2012. By July 2012, Amonix officially went out of business.
In 2010, the battery maker Ener1 received a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy as part of the Stimulus. In January 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy, one year to the date after Vice PresidentBiden paid a visit to their plant in Greenfield, Indiana. At the time, Biden said, “A year and a half ago, this administration made a judgment. We decided it’s not sufficient to create new jobs—we have to create whole new industries.” The problem for the Vice President and Ener1 is that they can’t create whole new economics where the laws of supply and demand do not matter.
In 2009, the federal government granted A123 Systems $249.1 million as part of the Stimulus. The State of Massachusetts also gave A123 grants and tax credits worth over $100 million. Despite this financial aid, A123 laid off about 123 workers at two plants in November 2011. The company was heavily in debt and has reported a loss every quarter since 2008. Despite being touted by the President as the “birth of an entire new industry”, A123 officially filed for bankruptcy on October 16, 2012.
In 2009, the Department of Energy gave Fisker Automotive a $529 million loan. So far, Fisker has received $193 million of the loan and the rest is contingent on Fisker reaching its sale targets on its FiskerKarma (priced at over $100,000). Fisker is currently looking to conserve cash and has laid off 26 employees in Delaware and 40 contractors in California.
In 2010, Nevada Geothermal Power received a loan guarantee of $79 million from the Department of Energy, in addition to $66 million in grants from the Department of Treasury. In September 2011, Deloitte’s audit of the company stated that there was “significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
In 2010, Abound Solar received an approval for a $400 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration. The loan supposed to support construction of plants in Longmont, CO and Tipton, IN. After drawing down nearly $70 million of the loan guarantee, Abound is now bankrupt and shutting down while also laying off 280 temporary and full-time workers.