At the end of September, Marita Noon and I began to expose the various failures of Obama’s green-energy expenditures (mainly from the trillion dollar, 2009-stimulus package where over $90 billion was earmarked for "green") –– projects and firms that have gone bankrupt (confirming 15 with more on our radar). A hot topic that became part of the first presidential debate where after President Obama pressed Mitt Romney for supporting tax cuts for oil companies, Romney reminded Obama that he put $90 billion into failing green companies like Solyndra, Fisker, Tesla, and Ener1. “I had friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers,” Romney cleverly added.
We then we moved on to those that are functioning, but facing difficulties –– struggling either financially, while some environmentally, still others laying off workers, and quite a few on life support (approximately 20).
Lastly, we addressed the "5 million green jobs that Candidate Obama had promised in 2008," of which Team Obama is now claiming victory, however, as we noted, the math doesn't add up, nor does the gimmick accounting –– recycled ones; those that already existed –– used by the Obama administration's Labor Department.
While in Marita's Townhall.com columns we placed an * after the project/company’s name to indicate a political connection (cronyism and corruption), in my subsequent blogs I expanded upon our efforts, and plugged in my research, listing those critical ties.
In our three-part series, two focused directly on the failures, and our sums were 15 bankruptcies and 20 troubled (a total of 35 with over 65% having meaningful Democrat political connections –– bundlers, donors, supporters, etc). Yet, considering the rapid speed of these "green" bankruptcies and issues (about 10 that I read about just last week), I'm compiling new totals here, which will include a new and updated list by the Heritage Foundation dated October 18, 2012 –– President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures –– with their total of 36 (updated later with a number of 34). And most listed at The Heritage and ours are very similar, however, they have some we don't and vise versa.
New calculations: 22 bankrupt, 25 troubled, equals a new "Obama green-energy failure" list total of 47. And so far, at least $15 billion of "green" taxpayer money is either gone or still at risk, and the majority was funneled to Obama and Democrat cronies –– I can confirm that over 62% are political connected.
- Solyndra*: Received $535 million DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011
- Abound Solar*: Received part of a $60 million grant under the Bush administration, and was awarded a $400 million loan under Obama in December of 2010. Abound was awarded a $9.2-million loan from the Export-Import Bank in July 2011. Bankrupt: June 2012
- Beacon Power*: Received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million. Bankrupt: October 2011
A123 Systems*: Received $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant. Filed for Bankruptcy October 16, 2012, and two companies are seeking to buy A123; Johnson Controls and the Chinese firm Wanxiangis.
- AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage*: Received $17.1 million DOE conditional commitment on August 2, 2010. Bankrupt: December 31, 2011.
- Amonix*: Received $6 million in federal tax credits a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development. Bankrupt: July 18, 2012.
- Azure Dynamics*: Received millions in stimulus funds and over $1.7 million in Michigan state tax credits. Bankrupt: March 27, 2012 ––
HF ADDITION: states $120 million
- Babcock & Brown: Received $178 million in the largest federal (1603) stimulus wind grant in December 2009. Placed into voluntary liquidation: March 13, 2009
- Energy Conversion Devices Inc./Uni-Solar: Received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit. Bankrupt: February 2011.
- Ener1*: Received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: January 26, 2011.
- Evergreen Solar, Inc.*: Received Stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies. Bankrupt: August 15, 2011
- Konarka Technologies Inc.: Received $20 million in grants from government agencies such as the DOE and the Pentagon. Bankrupt: June 4, 2012.
- ADDITION Range Fuels*: Range Fuels: $162.25 million in government commitments since 2007, of which $64 million came from a USDA Biofuel loan in 2010 alone, despite financial and technical difficulties, and opposition inside the USDA.
- Raser Technologies: Received $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: May 2, 2011.
- SpectraWatt*: Received $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Lab via the Stimulus. Bankrupt: August 23, 2011
- Stirling Energy Systems: Received $7 million from a federal renewable-energy grant and was eligible for nearly $10.5 million in manufacturing September 28, 2011.
- Thompson River Power LLC: Received $6.5 million in Stimulus funds from Section 1603. Bankrupt: July 2, 2012.
- HF ADDITION: Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million); in our unconfirmed list
- HF ADDITION: Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million);
in our unconfirmed list
- HF ADDITION: Nordic Windpower* ($16 million)
- HF ADDITION: Satcon ($3 million) As reported by the Heritage Foundation October 18, 2012, "A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week."
- HF ADDITION: Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)
($6 million); in our unconfirmed bankrupt list
- Fisker Automotive* –– $528.7
- Tesla Motors* –– $465 million
- AREVA acquired Ausra Inc.* –– $2 billion
- BrightSource Energy* –– $1.6 billion
- First Solar* –– $3 billion, plus suspicious Export-Import bank funding
- Nevada Geothermal* –– $78.8 million, plus $69 million in federal stimulus-funded grants
- NextEra Energy Genesis Solar Project* –– $681.6 million
- SunPower Corp.* (California Valley Solar Ranch project bought by NRG Energy*) –– $1.2 billion DOE loan guarantee
- AltaRock* –– $6 million, $25 million, plus $1.45 million
- Bloom Energy* –– $5 million
- CH2M Hill* –– $2 billion
- Chevy Volt* –– $151 million, $105 million, plus other stimulus funds HF ADDITION: GreenVolts ($500,000) - I'm assuming this is the Chevy Volt
- ECOtality Inc.* –– $126.2 million
Johnson Controls –– $299 million
- Montana Alberta Tie Line –– $152 million of federal financing (some reports say $161 million)
- National Renewable Energy Lab* –– $200 million
- Schneider Electric –– $86 million
- Serious Material (Serious Energy)* –– $548,100
- Solar World Industries America –– $4.6 million
- ADDITION: Solar City* –– Got a $275 million conditional guarantee (DOE) that was later rejected. Besides some financial issues, Solar City was subpoenaed in July as part of a federal probe of the Treasury grant program. As reported by The Washington Free Beacon (October 18, 2012), SolarCity, is currently being audited by the Internal Revenue Service and investigated by the Treasury Department’s inspector general amid allegations that the firm misrepresented the value of its investment when applying for stimulus grants. So it looks like Solar City" has applied for approximately $325 million in these stimulus grants, according to the SEC filing." So, loan rejected, but the grant is larger (as are the political ties) –– we'll keep an eye on this story.
- Solar World Industries America –– $4.6 million
- HF ADDITION: Vestas ($50 million)
- HF ADDITION: LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million, part of the Recovery Act, and millions worth of special state tax breaks based on job creation of all things) LG Chem is another green company that President Obama touted during his visit at the LG Chem battery cell production site in 2010. This is an amusing story that was recently brought to my attention –– according to Wood TV, Michigan (October 18, 2012), "Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies." Now, their story (more scandalous than what I posted here) is under investigation by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board –– an oversight agency for the federal stimulus program, what I call the RAT Board –– another huge part of this green corruption scandal.
- HF ADDITION: Navistar ($10 million)
- HF ADDITION: Mascoma Corp.* ($100 million)
Department of Energy Collateral Damage
- Aptera Motors
- Bright Automotive
- Solar Trust*
*Denotes companies/projects with confirmed cronyism and/or corruption.
The is the complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies by The Heritage Foundation, October 18, 2012 (updated later to reflect 34) –– President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures
The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
- Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
- SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
- Solyndra ($535 million)*
- Beacon Power ($43 million)*
- Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
- SunPower ($1.2 billion)
- First Solar ($1.46 billion)
- Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
- EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
- Amonix ($5.9 million)
- Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
- Abound Solar ($400 million)*
- A123 Systems ($279 million)*
- Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
- Johnson Controls ($299 million)
- Schneider Electric ($86 million)
- Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
- ECOtality ($126.2 million)
- Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
- Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
- Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
- Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
- Range Fuels ($80 million)*
- Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
- Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
- Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
- GreenVolts ($500,000)
- Vestas ($50 million)
- LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
- Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
- Navistar ($39 million)
- Satcon ($3 million)*
- Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
- Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.
Figures for four companies have been updated: Beacon Power received $43 million from the U.S. government, not $69 million as originally reported. Azure Dynamics received $5.4 million from the federal government, not $120 million as originally reported. Compact Power Inc. received $151 million as part of the stimulus, not $150 million as originally reported. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group received $700,981 in government funding, not $6 million as originally reported.
The following companies have been removed from the original list: AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy, LSP Energy and Uni-Solar did not receive government-backed loans, based on additional research. The National Renewable Energy Lab did received $200 million in stimulus funding, but it is a government laboratory.
NOTE: My blog reflects the Heritage "corrections," however, I kept in AES and the National Energy Lab –– and we initially had four unconfirmed bankruptcies:
- LSP Energy
- Mountain Plaza Inc.
- Olsen Crop Service/Olsen Mills
- Willard & Kelsey Solar Group
So far, at least $15 billion of "green" taxpayer money is either gone or still at risk, and the majority was funneled to Obama and Democrat cronies
As you can see tracking President Obama's failed green-energy expenditures is like aiming at a moving target, and calculating the exact dollar amount is even more difficult to pinpoint. This is partly due the fact that companies/projects received multiple green government subsidies that weren't recorded or tracked properly (federal and state loans, grants and special tax credits, and from various programs and agencies). Also, some of these firms were given a loan guarantee, yet didn't have access to the entire amount, prior to their bankruptcy. However, as a ballpark figure, I'd say that at least $15 billion that we know of at this time. And here's why...
I had purposely listed the bankrupt and troubled from the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program (DOE LGP) first. Since 2009, the DOE has guaranteed $34.7 billion – 46% through the 1705 ($16 billion of which 90% are politically connected), 30% through the 1703 ($10.3 billion—AREVA and Georgia Power), and 14% through the ATVM ($8.4 billion and 3 of the five loans are tied directly to Obama).
Marita and I covered eleven companies from the DOE LGP (Solyndra, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Fisker Auto, Telsa Motors, AREVA, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal, NextEra Energy's Genesis Solar Project, and SunPower/NRG Energy's California Valley Solar Ranch), noting that from that program alone, close to $10 billion of taxpayer money is already gone, while, as you can see, some is still at risk. What's interesting to note is that of the "26 loan guarantees under the 1705 program, of which the DOE doled out in excess of $16 billion, “23 of the loans were rated “Junk grade” due to their poor credit quality, while the other four were rated BBB, which is at the lowest end of the 'investment' grade of categories.”
Meaning that the DOE had already put the majority of that $16 billion into excessively risky investments. And to add insult to taxpayer injury, the driving force behind these decisions weren't based merit as the DOE would have you believe –– obviously it was cronyism and corruption. My April 2012 analysis of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform March 2012 report confirmed that over 90% have meaningful political ties to President Obama and high ranking Democrats, or both, which gives credence to Congressman Ryan's jab to the so-called "Stimulus Sheriff," Vice President Joe Biden during the VP debate, "$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups." Ryan went on to call the Obama green-energy expenditures what it is, "crony capitalism and corporate welfare."
In case you missed our Obama Green Energy Failures, Three Part Series:
- Part One –– Obama Never Admits Green Failure (September 30, 2012 @ Townhall.com); Obama Green Energy Investments: Bankrupt. My "in the weeds" edition here, Special Report Part One: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc.
- Part Two Romney to Obama: “You Pick the Losers," (October 7, 2012 @ Townhall.com) Obama Green Energy Investments: Troubled. My "in the weeds" edition here, Special Report Part Two: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc.
- Part Three –– Obama's Green Jobs Promise: 355 Jobs and Counting (October 15, 2012 @ Townhall.com). My "in the weeds" edition here, Special Report Part Three: Where are the 5 Million Green Jobs Candidate Obama Promised?
PS: If anyone cares to add up these failed green-energy expenditures, drop me a line and I'll post it on my blog. Thanks, Christine @firstname.lastname@example.org; THE Green Corruption blogger.