JULY 18, 2012
Another chunk of change that went to one of President Obama’s pet green energy ventures is missing and taxpayers are once again defrauded because the federal agency in charge admits it has no clue what happened to the cash.
Seems like a bad nightmare though it’s really happening and costing American taxpayers huge sums of money. It turns out that the Department of Energy (DOE) has lost at least $500,000 worth of equipment for a special alternative energy program that got nearly $2 billion from the president’s disastrous stimulus. Remember, the $787 billion plan that was supposed to jump start the economy and put Americans back to work but instead lost billions to fraud and abuse?
In any case, it turns out that the DOE has blown more than half the money— around $1.2 billion—earmarked for the special “advanced batteries and hybrid components program” that is supposed to “support the construction of U.S. based battery and electric drive component manufacturing plants.” In all, 30 manufacturers (undoubtedly, politically connected) got cash from the Obama DOE to complete the task.
The DOE admits that it is “unable to locate” the half a million dollars in equipment that has mysteriously disappeared from a firm that got one of Uncle Sam’s generous grants. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s all documented in a DOE Inspector General report made public just a few days ago. It gets better; the DOE refuses to disclose the name of the company that received stimulus cash and lost the half a million dollars in equipment.
This brings back really bad memories of the Solyndra scandal, though a much larger chunk of cash was lost in that brilliant venture. Despite the “serious concerns” of U.S. Treasury officials, the Obama Administration gave the now-defunct northern California solar panel firm $535 million. The fly-by-night company was bankrolled by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser and the president justified the taxpayer allocation by saying it promoted green energy.
Judicial Watch is investigating the Solyndra scandal and has sued the Obama DOE and Office of Management and Budget to obtain records involving the deal. Last fall JW submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking records from both agencies, but the DOE says it’s reviewing documents in preparation for public release. The Office of Management and Budget has totally blown off the request. This indicates that the administration is on cover-up mode.
No one really knows how many of these failed, taxpayer-funded green energy projects are out there. In fact, most Americans probably had no idea about this recently exposed, multi-billion-dollar DOE program that, not surprisingly, has turned out to be a disastrous money pit. The DOE Inspector General, the agency’s watchdog, suggests that more should be done to “ensure recipients adequately safeguard equipment purchased with federal funds.”
What an innovative idea! Here is another good one that evidently has not occurred to the DOE; “Given the size of the program, we emphasize the importance of maintaining adequate documentation to support all purchasing decisions and continuing to ensure assets purchased with Federal funds are safeguarded.”
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