JANUARY 25, 2016
A scandal-plagued “green” auto program that’s fleeced American taxpayers out of huge sums just got another $58 million from the Obama administration to support the development of advanced technology vehicles that meet higher efficiency standards.
The experimental program is known as Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) and it’s one of the president’s many disastrous green-energy investments. The public funds are funneled through the Department of Energy (DOE), which is handing out cash like candy on Halloween. In all, the administration has set aside an astounding $25 billion for the cause and a chunk of it has already been lost on initiatives that have failed miserably. Among them is fly-by-night electric car company called Fisker Automotive that shut down after getting an eye-popping $193 million from the government. The Obama DOE originally pledged $529 million for the California startup but the cash finally stopped flowing when Fisker laid off three quarters of its employees and announced it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Judicial Watch has an ongoing investigation into the Fisker scandal and has sued the DOE for records detailing the government “loan” that will obviously never be repaid because the company went under. The Obama administration touted it as a great investment in a company that would create thousands of jobs in a region hit hard by unemployment. The administration also promised Fisker would develop two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that could run up to 300 miles on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. None of this ever came close to materializing and instead taxpayers got stuck with the huge loss of this failed experiment.
Soon after Fisker’s collapse another startup called Vehicle Production Group (VPG) went under after losing $50 million in taxpayer funds. VPG was supposed to create special vans for the disabled that run on compressed natural gas. Here’s how the Obama administration justified funding this experiment with public dollars: “This project invests in a socially and environmentally responsible product that will create new jobs, promote the use of alternative fuels, and help the U.S. maintain its competitive edge in the automotive industry.” The DOE eventually took the page down, but JW got the quote straight from the agency’s announcement touting VPG, which turned out to be yet another costly failure for taxpayers.
This hasn’t stopped the administration from pouring big bucks into these dubious green energy initiatives. In announcing the $58 million ATVM allocation this month, the DOE has the audacity to claim that the controversial program has enjoyed great “successes.” The agency press release says the funding will solicit projects across vehicle technologies like energy storage, electric drive systems, materials, fuels and lubricants and advanced combustion. The technologies will help save American consumers money and decrease carbon emissions by increasing the fuel efficiency of conventional cars and trucks, according to the agency. It will also support the administration’s goal to make electric vehicles as affordable as gas-powered vehicles by 2022. “These successful investments in next-generation vehicle technologies are a clear example of the impact innovation can have on industry and consumers,” said DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.
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