Most TAH readers know that the current administration is a big fan of pumping exorbitant sums into “green energy” projects as
paybacks for past political support “the way to a secure future” (or some other similarly contrived but totally bogus justification). Well, we now have yet another “success story” from the green energy front.
The US Department of Energy made loan guarantees to a company called Fisker Automotive. Those loan guarantees totaled well over $500 million.
In case you’ve forgotten: Fisker Automotive is a California firm that made – yep, you guessed it – “extended-range electric vehicles”. Things didn’t go so well for them, business-wise (surprise, surprise). They declared bankruptcy in March of this year.
By that point, Fisker had received over $192 million of those taxpayer-guaranteed loans. The Federal government seized $21 million from the company earlier this year to protect its interest in the outstanding loan guarantees.
Uncle Sam has now sold the outstanding loan guarantees to a Chinese company called Hybrid Tech owned by Chinese billionaire Richard Li. The sale price for those outstanding loan guarantees? $25 million.
Fisker apparently had repaid some $7 million before going belly-up; Uncle Sam has seized $21 million, and will get $25 million from Hybrid Tech. That leaves $139 million of what Uncle Sam loaned to Fisker outstanding.
That remaining $139 million that the Federal government loaned to Fisker? Uncle Sam eats that as a loss.
It’s the biggest “green energy”
fleecing of Uncle Sam financial failure since a firm called Solyndra went down the tubes a couple of years ago. Perhaps you remember that windfall boondoggle financial fiasco blatantly obvious incompetence minor incident?
Look, some degree of Federal support for R&D is one thing. But pouring literally hundreds of millions into half-baked ventures that simply aren’t anywhere near ready for prime time is a different thing entirely.
That seems to have become a pattern with the current administration. And at this point, I’m not convinced it’s simply due to incompetence either.
Yo, DoE – assuming anyone working for you actually gives a sh!t about fiscal responsibility, I’ve got a small bit of advice for them. If a technology is really “ready for prime time”, private industry will run with it and use it to make some $$$. You don’t have to fund the commercial end of it.
But if it’s not “ready for prime time”, you’re p!ssing away my tax money funding it past the R&D stage. And yeah – I got a problem with that.