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Obama’s Top Clean Energy Failures

- January 27, 2012

When Obama Campaigns On Green Energy Investments In Michigan, Will He Talk About These Green Energy Failures?

Obama: “Some Technologies Don’t Pan Out; Some Companies Fail.  But I Will Not Walk Away From The Promise Of Clean Energy.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks In The State Of The Union Address, 1/24/12)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

In 2008, Obama Promised As President To Put “One Million 150 Mile-Per-Gallon Plug-In Hybrid Cars On Our Roads Within Six Years.” OBAMA: “First, we'll commit ourselves to getting one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid cars on our roads within six years. And we'll make sure these cars are built not in Japan, not in China, but right here in the United States of America.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At A Town Hall, Youngstown, OH, 8/5/08)

  • The Washington Post: “Evidence Is Mounting That President Obama Was Overly Optimistic To Pledge That There Would Be 1 Million EVs On The Road By 2015.” (Editorial, “Overcharged,” The Washington Post, 1/1/12)
  • Taxpayers May Not See A Return On The $5 Billion In Taxpayer Funds Obama Poured Into The Electric-Car Industry. “The Obama administration has poured roughly $5 billion in taxpayer funds into the electric-car industry, offering incentives to manufacturers, their suppliers and even car buyers who might want to go green. But analysts say the risk is rising that taxpayers in many cases will not see a return on their money soon, if ever. Instead, they warn that some federally subsidized companies could be forced to shut down in coming months.” (Carol D. Leonnig, and Joe Stephens, “For Obama’s Green-Car Revolution, Fits And Starts,” The Washington Post, 12/7/11)

A123 SYSTEMS

Obama Predicted That A123 Systems, A Michigan-Based Battery Maker That Received $380 Million, Would Create 3,000 Jobs, But It Only Has 690 Employees And Has Announced Forced Layoffs. “A123 Systems, a battery maker that received $380 million in government support, announced recently that declining orders had forced layoffs. Instead of up to 3,000 new Michigan jobs as Obama and the company had predicted, it now has 690 employees.” (Carol D. Leonnig, and Joe Stephens, “For Obama’s Green-Car Revolution, Fits And Starts,” The Washington Post, 12/7/11)

FISKER

Fisker, Backed By More Than A Half-Billion Dollars In Loan Guarantees, Missed Early Manufacturing Goals And Has Pushed Back Plans For U.S. Production And Creation Of Thousands Of Jobs. “An electric car company backed by more than a half-billion dollars in Department of Energy loan guarantees has missed early manufacturing goals and has gradually pushed back plans for U.S. production and the creation of thousands of jobs.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, “Fisker, Electric Carmaker Backed By $529 Million U.S. Loan, Balks At Solyndra Comparison,” The Washington Post, 10/21/11)

  • “This Week, Fisker Learned Its Product Couldn’t Deliver On Its Efficiency Pledge — The Car Cannot Travel Solely On Electricity For A 50-Mile Stretch. That Adds To The Many Hurdles Standing Between The Company And Profitability.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, “Fisker, Electric Carmaker Backed By $529 Million U.S. Loan, Balks At Solyndra Comparison,” The Washington Post, 10/21/11)
  • Fisker, Which Received $529 Million In Federal Loan Guarantees, Manufactures Its Cars In Finland. “A $529 million federal loan guarantee to an electric car company manufacturing automobiles in Finland is drawing more unwanted attention to Energy Department loans. A report by ABC News on Thursday said Fisker, a startup electric car company, is making cars in Finland after receiving the loan because it could not find a contractor in America to actually manufacture its electric vehicles.” (Keith Laing, “Energy Defends Loans For Electric Cars,” The Hill, 10/21/11)

TESLA MOTORS

Obama’s Department Of Energy Loaned Tesla Motors $465 Million In June 2009. “The Obama Administration will lend Tesla Motors $465 million to build an electric sedan and the battery packs needed to propel it. It’s one of three loans totaling almost $8 billion that the Department of Energy awarded Tuesday to spur the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.” (Chuck Squatriglia, “Feds Lend Tesla $465 Million To Build Electric Car,” CNN6/23/09)

  • Despite Federal Funding, Tesla Has Lost Money Every Quarter. “Tesla’s SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.” (Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, “Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland,” ABC News, 10/20/11)
  • As Of June 30, 2011, Tesla Had Lost $522.8 Million. “Tesla has yet to turn a profit and suffered net losses in each quarter. ‘Since inception and through the three and six months ended June 30, 2011, we had accumulated net losses of $522.8 million,’ its most recent 10-K form shows.” (Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, “Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland,” ABC News, 10/20/11)

SOLYNDRA

Solyndra, Obama’s Poster-Child For “American Ingenuity And Dynamism,” Declared Bankruptcy. “The California-based Solyndra, which employed more than 1,000 people, declared bankruptcy earlier this month. President Obama visited the company in May of 2010, saying it was a prime example of ‘American ingenuity and dynamism.’” (Alexander Mooney, “White House Beats Back Claim It Pressured Loan To Now-Bankrupt Company.” CNN, 9/14/11)

  • “Solyndra Was The Epitome Of What The Government Envisioned To Be Our Green Tech Future…” (David Louie, “Fremont Solar Panel Maker Solyndra Scales Back Expansion Plans,” The Oakland Tribune, 11/4/10)

Solyndra Was Offered The First Recovery Act Loan Guarantee, Receiving $535 Million From Taxpayers In March 2009, And Went Bankrupt In August 2011. (Solyndra, “Solyndra Offered $535 Million Loan Guarantee By The U.S. Department Of Energy,” Press Release, 3/20/09; Joe Stephens And Carol Leonnig, “House Republicans Step Up Solyndra Investigation,” The Washington Post, 9/1/11; George Avalos, “Fremont Solar Tech Firm Solyndra To Shut Down, Lay Off 1,100 Workers,” The San Jose Mercury News, 8/31/11)

In August 2011, Solyndra Announced That It Will File For Bankruptcy, “Immediately Laying Off 1,100 Employees.” “Solyndra, a Fremont solar tech manufacturer, announced Wednesday it is suspending operations and immediately laying off 1,100 employees. The company said it will also file for bankruptcy.” (George Avalos, “Fremont Solar Tech Firm Solyndra To Shut Down, Lay Off 1,100 Workers,” The San Jose Mercury News, 8/31/11)

ENER1

Ener1, An Energy Storage Company That Received A $118.5 Million Stimulus Grant, Filed For Bankruptcy. “An Indiana-based energy-storage company that received a $118.5 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department filed for bankruptcy Thursday. Ener1 is asking a federal bankruptcy court in New York to approve a plan to restructure the company’s debt and infuse $81 million in equity funding.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Obama-Backed Electric Car Battery-Maker Files For Bankruptcy,” The Hill’s E2 Wire, 1/26/12)

  • The Energy Department In 2009 Approved A $118.5 Million Stimulus Grant For Enerdel, A Subsidiary Of The Company That Develops Lithium-Ion Batteries Used In Electric Vehicles.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Obama-Backed Electric Car Battery-Maker Files For Bankruptcy,” The Hill’s E2 Wire, 1/26/12)

BEACON POWER

Beacon Power Was Awarded A $43 Million Federal Loan Guarantee In August 2010 To Build A 20-Megawatt Flywheel Energy-Storage Plant In Stephentown, NY. “In August 2010, Beacon Power was awarded a $43 million federal loan guarantee that the Tyngsboro, Mass., company used to put in place a 20-megawatt flywheel energy-storage plant in Stephentown, N.Y. The plant takes excess electric energy from the power grid and converts it into the energy of a spinning wheel, releasing it into the grid when needed. By June 30, the project had drawn down $38 million of the loan. Beacon also qualified for a $23 million grant from the DOE.” (Yuliya Chernova, “Renewable-Energy Firms Facing Financial Hurdles,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/27/11)

  • Beacon Power Filed For Bankruptcy In October 2011. “A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday, a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra’s collapse. Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.” (Ben German, “Second Energy Department-Backed Company Goes Bankrupt,” The Hill, 10/31/11)

AMONIX

Amonix Inc.,  A California-Based Solar Company, Will Lay Off 200 Of Its Employees At Its North Las Vegas Solar Power Manufacturing Plant. “Just seven months after California-based solar power company Amonix Inc. opened its largest manufacturing plant, in North Las Vegas, the company’s contractor has laid off nearly two-thirds of its workforce. Flextronics Industrial, the Singapore solar panel manufacturer that partnered with Amonix to staff the new $18 million, 214,000-square-foot plant, laid off about 200 of its 300-plus employees Tuesday.” (Justin M. Bowen, “Some 200 Laid Off At North Las Vegas Amonix Solar Plant,” Las Vegas Sun, 1/26/12)

In 2010, Amonix Received A $5.9 Million Federal Stimulus Tax Credit. “Amonix received a $5.9 million investment tax credit through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in 2010, and another $12 million in private capital helped finance the plant.” (Justin M. Bowen, “Some 200 Laid Off At North Las Vegas Amonix Solar Plant,” Las Vegas Sun, 1/26/12)

  • At The Time In 2010, Obama Cited Amonix’s Example To Support His Program Of Clean Energy Investments. OBAMA: “A solar panel company -- a solar power company called Amonix received a roughly $6 million tax credit for a new facility they’re building in the Las Vegas area -– a tax credit they were able to match with roughly $12 million in private capital.  That's happening right now.  And that’s just one of over, that's just one of over 180 projects that received manufacturing tax credits in over 40 states. Now, here’s the -- the only problem we have is these credits were working so well, there aren’t enough tax credits to go around. Now, here’s the -- the only problem we have is these credits were working so well, there aren’t enough tax credits to go around.  There are more worthy projects than there are tax credits.  When we announced the program last year, it was such a success we received 500 applications requesting over $8 billion in tax credits, but we only had $2.3 billion to invest.  In other words, we had almost four times as many worthy requests as we had tax credits.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At University Of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, 7/9/10)

GREEN ENERGY JOBS

A $500 Million Labor Department Program Designed To Train Workers For Green Jobs With A Goal Of Placing Nearly 80,000 Workers In Careers In Energy Efficiency Or Renewable Energy By 2013 Is Coming Up Far Short Of Its Goals. “The Labor Department's inspector general says a $500 million program designed to train workers for green jobs has come up far short of its goals.A report finds that only about 8,000 people participating in the program have actually found work so far. That's just 10 percent of the target goal of placing 80,000 workers in careers in energy efficiency or renewable energy by 2013.” (“Report Says Green Jobs Program Far Short Of Goals,” The Associated Press, 10/3/11)

  • The New York Times: “Federal And State Efforts To Stimulate Creation Of Green Jobs Have Largely Failed.” “Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development.” (Aaron Glantz, “Number Of Green Jobs Fails To Live Up To Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/11)

Obama’s $38.6 Billion Green Loan Program Created Only 3,500 Jobs, But Obama Had Predicted It Would Save Or Create 65,000. “The Washington Post reported in September that Mr. Obama’s $38.6 billion green loan program had created a mere 3,500 jobs over two years. He had predicted it would ‘save or create’ 65,000.” (Editorial, “The Non-Green Job Boom,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/28/11)

WEATHERIZATION PROGRAMS

President Obama Said Weatherization Is “Exactly The Kind Of Program That We Should Be Funding.  OBAMA: “We’re going to weatherize homes. That immediately puts people back to work. And we’re going to train people who are out of work, including young people, to do the weatherization. As a consequence of weatherization, their energy bills go down and we reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What would be a more effective stimulus package than that? You’re getting a three-fer. Not only are you immediately putting people back to work, but you’re also saving families on their energy bills, and we’re laying the groundwork for long term energy independence. That’s exactly the kind of program that we should be funding.” (President Barack Obama, CBS’ Evening News, 2/3/09)

  • Vice President Biden Called The Program A “Triple Win. …  Because It Creates Green Jobs, Jobs That Can’t Be Outsourced.” BIDEN: “Investing in retrofits is a triple win.  It’s a win for consumers who save money on their energy bill.  It’s a win for the environment because we’re using less energy, which cuts down on harmful emissions from greenhouse gases.  And, finally, it’s a win for the American economy, because it creates green jobs, jobs that can’t be outsourced. ” (Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks By The Vice President Announcing Recovery Act “Retrofit Ramp-Up” Awards On Eve Of Earth Day, Washington, DC, 4/21/10)

Over $200 Million Spent On Weatherization And Job Training But With Little To Show For It. “California was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize homes. So far, the program has created the equivalent of only 538 full-time jobs. A $59 million effort to train people for green jobs in California produced only 719 job placements.” (David Brooks, “Where The Jobs Aren’t,” The New York Times, 9/5/11)

DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman: “Weatherization Work Was Often Of Poor Quality.” “Even programs that appeared the most straightforward, such as home weatherization, were mired in challenges at the federal, state and local levels. ‘Weatherization work was often of poor quality.’” (Darius Dixon, “DOE IG: 100+ Stimulus-Related Criminal Probes,” Politico, 11/2/11)

  • “In A Recent Audit Performed At The State Level, Nine Of The 17 Weatherized Homes We Visited Failed Inspections Because Of Substandard Workmanship,’ Friedman Said.” (Darius Dixon, “DOE IG: 100+ Stimulus-Related Criminal Probes,” Politico, 11/2/11)

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