Obama Revives Green Car Loans on Heels of Fisker Bankruptcy
A fly-by-night electric car company recently folded after getting nearly $200 million from the government yet the Obama administration plans to pour more money into the green auto loan program, according to a mainstream news report that acknowledges it’s “controversial.”
That’s quite an understatement considering the shady experiment’s history. It’s called Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) and it’s one of the president’s disastrous green-energy investments. The idea, according to the agency that runs it, the Department of Energy (DOE), is to support the development of advanced technology vehicles that meet higher efficiency standards. In all, the administration has set aside $25 billion for the cause.
So far it has proven to be a huge boondoggle that’s fleeced American taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, just a few months ago the initiative’s big hope, Fisker Automotive, shut down after receiving $193 million from Uncle Sam. The Obama DOE had 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 in early 2012 sued the DOE for records detailing the government “loan” that will obviously never be repaid. 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.
“Several problems,” including the multi-million-dollar Fisker fleecing, put the green car loan program on hold but it’s making a comeback, according to senior DOE officials cited in the news story. They have “signaled the Obama administration is ready to restart a controversial automotive loan program designed to kick-start the development of alternative vehicles,” according to the article which was published this week.
This is pure insanity not to mention a massive waste of taxpayer dollars. Consider how things went down with Fisker. When the DOE announced in 2009 that it would give Fisker $528.7 million for its experiment, then Energy Secretary Steven Chu guaranteed the company would create thousands of jobs and develop two lines of plug-in hybrids that “will save hundreds of millions of gallons of gasoline and offset millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.” None of that ever came close to happening.
A year later, when the government “loan” closed, Vice President Joe Biden celebrated, saying that “the story of Fisker is a story of ingenuity of an American company, a commitment to innovation by the U.S. government and the perseverance of the American auto industry.” He also credited the “real dedication by this administration” for helping “America’s auto industry reclaim its top position in the global market.”
It’s downright outrageous that the president continues forcing American taxpayers to keep funding this controversial program that has failed miserably. We’ve also seen this in Obama’s other green ventures. Remember Solyndra, the startup solar panel company that collapsed after getting $535 million in stimulus funds? Judicial Watch is also investigating that scandal and in 2011 sued the administration for records.