Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Obama's failed public equity record - green energy investments have cost taxpayers billions of dollars

In Marc Thiessen's article Forget Bain - Obama's public-equity record is the real scandal he shows us how badly the Obama administration's investment with taxpayer money - our money - has turned out.  Many of the companies that Obama has used our money to invest in have turned out to be utter disasters, companies that have ended up in bankruptcies, layoffs, and criminal investigations. Obama has shown us how corporate cronyism doesn't work.  That's a failed record for ya - Obama's failed record. 

While Mitt Romney was working at Bain the company had an 80% success rate. It was their job to deliberately take on tough jobs, to try and turn around failing companies on the brink of bankruptcy.  This involved company and investors' funds, unlike how Obama has used taxpayer money to fund his pet projects, which we didn't have a choice to donate to but was compulsory. And people wonder why us hard working folk complain about high taxes. When our money is wasted without a second thought then heck yeah we will complain and hold our public officials accountable.  Our money should not be invested in some progressive ideological experiment . 

Mitt Romney can be proud of his successful record at Bain. 

Marc Thiessen points out some examples of Obama's public equity failures: 

● Raser Technologies. In 2010, the Obama administration gave Raser a $33 million taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in Beaver Creek, Utah. According to the Wall Street Journal, after burning through our tax dollars, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. The plant now has fewer than 10 employees, and Raser owes $1.5 million in back taxes.
● ECOtality. The Obama administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009 for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story. According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, the company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has told the federal government, “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.”
Worse, according to CBS News the company is “under investigation for insider trading,” and Karner has been subpoenaed “for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.”
● Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP). The Obama administration gave NGP a $98.5 million taxpayer loan guarantee in 2010.The New York Times reported last October that the company is in “financial turmoil” and that “[a]fter a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing released last week that there was ‘significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.’ ”
● First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to aBloomberg Businessweek report last week, the company “fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied to firing 30 percent of its workforce.”
● Abound Solar, Inc. The Obama administration gave Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories. According to Forbes, in February the company halted production and laid off 180 employees.
● Beacon Power. The Obama administration gave Beacon — a green-energy storage company — a $43 million loan guarantee. According to CBS News, at the time of the loan, “Standard and Poor’s had confidentially given the project a dismal outlook of ‘CCC-plus.’ ” In the fall of 2011, Beacon received a delisting notice from Nasdaq and filed for bankruptcy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. A company called SunPower got a $1.2 billion loanguarantee from the Obama administration, and as of January, the company owed more than it was worth. Brightsource got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee and posted a string of net losses totaling $177 million. And, of course, let’s not forget Solyndra — the solar panel manufacturer that received $535 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees and went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.


John Carey said...

Great post Teresa. Funny how we're not hearing more about this. What makes this 100x worse than Bain is you even want to call what Romney's time with Bain a bad thing considering more jobs were created than lost while he was there; Obama used our tax dollars to make these risky investments that failed.

Silverfiddle said...

Bain was doing it with their own money; Obama was doing it with ours. Bain has a better success rate. You're never as careful as with your own money, which explains why government wastes so much.

Bunkerville said...

Great find. It really isn't that hard to figure out the difference one would think.

Trekkie4Ever said...

Obama's "investments" have all failed and we are paying for it, because it was our money he was using.

But what choice did we have? Not a one.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

That great economist, Obama, knows all.

MathewK said...

Unbelievable, I hope the republicans are going to use all this in the coming campaign cos we all know the MSm sure won't say a damn thing.

Such monumental waste must not go unpunished, let alone unnoticed.