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  • President Obama's Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

    It is no secret that President Obama’s and green energy supporters’ (from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure, single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past failures in order to make it seem like a rare case.

    The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government’s picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.

    So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.

    The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

    1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
    2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
    4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*
    5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)
    7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    10. Amonix ($5.9 million)
    11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
    12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*
    13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
    14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
    15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
    16. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
    17. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
    18. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
    19. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
    20. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
    21. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
    22. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
    23. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
    24. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
    25. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
    26. GreenVolts ($500,000)
    27. Vestas ($50 million)
    28. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
    29. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
    30. Navistar ($39 million)
    31. Satcon ($3 million)*
    32. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
    33. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)

    *Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

    The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.

    The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.

    CORRECTION:

    Figures for four companies have been updated: Beacon Power received $43 million from the U.S. government, not $69 million as originally reported. Azure Dynamics received $5.4 million from the federal government, not $120 million as originally reported. Compact Power Inc. received $151 million as part of the stimulus, not $150 million as originally reported. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group received $700,981 in government funding, not $6 million as originally reported.

    The following companies have been removed from the original list: AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy, LSP Energy, Schneider Electric, and Uni-Solar did not receive government-backed loans, based on additional research. The National Renewable Energy Lab did received $200 million in stimulus funding, but it is a government laboratory.

    Additional research provided by Michael Sandoval

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    134 Responses to President Obama's Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

    1. Bobbie says:

      the government has no right to bring our money in this area leaving all consequences by government design, on innocent tax payers. These companies with the support of those in government are destroying this country!! It's obviously deliberate because American's learn from their mistakes by taking accountability that this President ignores by covering those mistakes and accounts with subsidies. It's too bad these American companies weakened to the President's devious ways holding us accountable to their mistakes in their control. Stop public private partnerships. They are corrupt partners when government is involved. we're sick of these bad investments we have no control over but our money is going to by force. The President can wait until he's a private citizen and suffer his own consequences but to lay them on America BY ABUSING HIS AUTHORITY is WRONG!

      • john says:

        80% of the Co's who received stimulus $$ where owned or managed by people who had donated $$ to the liar in chief.

      • george says:

        Exactly, where is this provided for in the Constitution?

        • NYOD says:

          Our government has the power to tax and spend "to promote the general welfare" in the manner it deems "necessary and proper." Article I, Sec 8 of your US constitution. Just as it spent to provide cheap, government-generated electricity to the deep south for 3/4s of a century through TVA, it has the authority to support the future energy frontiers to "promote the general welfare." Welcome to America.

      • NYOD says:

        Please! When new technology has been begun, throughout our history, many many companies begin on the new frontier and MOST FAIL!! Telephone companies died by the hundreds within the first 40 years of the invention. Computer companies that started in the late-70s were gone within a few years.

        WE ARE ON THE VERGE of a new frontier in the history of energy, and ONLY ONE ENTITY is large enough to keep us competitive with other nations that are sinking billions upon billions into OWNING this technology in the future. OUR PROBLEM is that we have sunk very little into this technology compared to the rest of the world. We should have thrown 3x our piddling contribution to Solyndra. Several of the companies above are likely to suvive and prosper. INDONESIA has just contracted with First Solar, above, to build a solar generation plant. OUR government should contract with them to build solar plants here — EXACTLY LIKE our government built and owned TVA which has generated cheap electricity for 3/4ths of a century and stimulated the deep south economy!

        The biggest problem in this country is the assumption that government cannot create jobs(ask TVA, ask ) and cannot stimulate our growth. There is NOTHING but empty rhetoric to support that. Our government has a duty, and YOU HAVE A DUTY, to support our constitutional purpose to "promote the general welfare" of our people. As Jefferson said, the prime purpose of government is to promote the happiness of its people. ONLY through government stimulation can we create more tax payers to handle the massive debts that have accumulated for decades.

        • NCgraniteman says:

          What a tenuous grasp of economics. If " the Government" was the only avenue that wold allow us to grow then the United States would have failed many moons ago and the Soviet Union would rule the world. Take a second to look at reality before making over reaching statements, please. The Government simply cannot CREATE jobs because it must, by definition, tax money from one source to pay it to another; whether that be for good or services or simply for wealth transfer. Free individuals however can use their talents to actually create wealth in forms from new houses, cars, tools, books, songs, computer programs, etc….. If government was picking technology winners we would still be riding buggies and feeding horses!!

      • Tricia says:

        I don't know where your head is. The Latinos want our country to be like there's. Since they have let all the illegals in let them vote (it is there country now and shipped all the jobs oversea's ) Obummer was re-elected and can do anything he wants. Just like he did the last 4 years gave amnesty would not deport illegals. Just gave executive orders for anything he wanted. Made all bills behind closed doors without the Republicans having any say or be able to change anything in them. The worst freaking President we ever had and this stupid country re-elects him with people who are not citizens. And has almost bankrupt this country. How sad it is that citizens can't get what illegals get. Jobs.

    2. Jeanne Stotler says:

      We have 2 solar panels and a windmill, all built by my son at bout $100.00 each. He’s a Rocket engineer and a computer scientist BUT my grandson isn’t and he helped build these, It takes about 3 day to make each panel, allowing drying and curing time Now, if he can do this for $100.00 a piece, WHY does it cost the Gov’t 10 x’s this?? We do not rely on green entirely but it helps offset the cost and also protects us if we have an outage – we get funny looks when the electricity goes out and we have lights and TV.

      • crmitchell says:

        Simple answer ? Because its government !

      • Robert Damon says:

        Could your son post the process of building and connecting so others can duplicate it? That could help a lot of people.

        • Pax Americana says:

          All ya gotta do is a google search of "DIY home energy". There are TONS of resources showing how to build solar, wind, water. methane, all sorts of energy producing methods. I built solar water heaters when I was 14 just for fun, and that was in 1978. The info has been widely available practically forever. BUT, it DOES require someone to actually take the time, do some research, and READ. The only reasons people do not know is simple laziness and disinterest… there are no other reasons possible.

      • AGREEWITHSTEVENS says:

        I think Jeanne makes a good point, here. I think the Government can play a roll in helping to develop energy businesses. I think where the Obama Administration went awry was with the size of the awards. With $1 to $2 million a technology or process can be proven and a complete market analysis can be done. Any company that has this information with third party credibility can go to the capital markets and raise private capital IF their concept has validity.

      • KelliB says:

        Jeanne, I was going to ask the same thing as Robert. If he does decide to post instructions or create a video on youtube, please let us know. Thanks.

      • Guest says:

        No wonder you get funny looks. You should share with your neighbors. Didn't you ever hear of energy redistribution?

      • @undefined says:

        According to the President,he didnt build that.

      • Aaron says:

        The simplest answer I can think of? If your Rocket engineer/computer scientist son spent 3 days building solar panels for a company, it would cost that company 10x more in labor than your son spent on parts.

      • pete says:

        >"WHY does it cost the Gov't 10 x's this?">

        Because a government that uses 80% of tax dollars it collects for "welfare" to run the welfare distriution system is incapable of doing anything as cheaply as it can be done at home.

    3. Charlieboy Stevens says:

      If my memory serves me correct, I believe that way back when, I sorta liked Solyndra and I beleive that this green energy auto was backed by Mr.Obma's governmental indications. Fortunately, I did not go for it and am now very happy with my Honda. Charlieboy.

      • Chicago860 says:

        The failures of solar-powered cars are many. Seems no one in DC knows anything about the laws of physics.

      • Elizabeth says:

        My understanding was that he was not investing in these companies but paying off debts for getting him into office. I heard that the money went in the front door and out the back. There were buildings built and a few products made for show.

    4. Eddie I hate to bring all of this to your attention but here it is in black and white and some color. It is not bs and if you would pull your head out of the sand you would be able to see and recognize what is going on with your beloved president.
      He wastes all of this tax payer money and then wants to raise the taxes so he can invest in some more like projects.

      • Tim Brink says:

        And the worst part – how many of these Companies are/were bundlers to the Obama campaign, like Solyndra.

        • Factcheckter says:

          This article is false, less than 1.4%, a figure from the Department of energy, have actually failed, that's better than most venture capital investments.

          • Alan says:

            And most venture capitol investments do not use the tax payers money. If the tax payers are going to fund companies they should fund all of them not just the choosen few!!!

          • Glenn Monson says:

            no factchecker, your name is a misnomer, as usual liberal statistics are vague and misleading just because you decided to only count the ones listed under the 1705 program the DOE’s 1705 loan program which doled out $16.1 billion to green energy companies, according to the Washington Post. Of the 33 companies that received 1705 loan guarantees, only three have declared bankruptcy doesnt mean the others arent valid and dont count, they do and the number of federally backed and funded companies is closer to 50 percent, this claim also doesnt count the ones in failure only the ones that have actually filed for bankruptcy, and as others have posted venture capital investment is a choice made by people with their discretionary extra money, not a forced expenditure by a unscrupulous administration seeking to fund its political doners at the expense of taxpayers. and this is only one example of the waste fraud and abuse by government, if you want to compare it to venture capital (which is still a bogus analogy) then include all of the governments waste fraud and abuse

          • Darret says:

            The 1.4% figure represents solyndra only.

    5. Donna Brunk says:

      I need a bigger calculator! Mine doesn't have enough digits to total this mess up. Might I suggest Obama stay away from Las Vegas. His odds of picking winners sucks!

    6. Joe1938 says:

      Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now we are trusting the economy of our country, our banking system, our auto industry and our health plans to the same nit-wits who couldn’t make money running a brothel house and selling whiskey!

      • Guest says:

        Wow! Well put and so very accurate!

      • joe says:

        Typical for government employees, the government overseers
        probably wore out the assets to the point they could no longer be income producers!

      • Mr.CommonSense says:

        Bill Clinton was very busy sampling the merchandise.

      • mirted says:

        Yes, but note that it eventually sold to a private owner and it is operating, supposedly at a profit, or if not, subsidized by private investment.

      • getitright says:

        You are incorrect. The Gov't foreclosed on the Mustang Ranch satisfy bankruptsy, but a federal judge wouldn't allow an operating liscense. It sold only a few months later at public auction.

        Bad for you to post things as fact that you haven't researched to confirm they are fact!

    7. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Romney must have hit a nerve in the first debate when he told Obama: "I have a friend who says that instead of
      picking winners and losers, Mr. President, you pick the losers." That's about the size of it.

      • magicalcleancoal says:

        % of Bain Capital run companies that went bankrupt: 28%.
        % of Obama financed green companies that went bankrupt: 10%

        Who picks the losers?

    8. Care to ring up a total on that list? Don't bother, allow me (and hold on to something solid): Total up the companies that have already declared bankruptcy and we, the generous American taxpayer are out to the tune of $3,890,700,000. That is 3.89 billion and change and that is one nasty tune. Total up the companies that are on the brink of bankruptcy and we stand to lose another $6.32 billion. Hope and Change is sure expensive!

      • crmitchell says:

        I did total it up. The failure rate is about 37% ! And, as the article says, others are circling the drain, so it will go higher – my guess is it will eventually top 50% failures !

      • Thomas says:

        Seems like a bargain compared to the 800+ billion for the Iraq war dicect costs and trillions in indirect costs

        • Darret says:

          If we were discussing the cost of the Iraq war your point would be vaild. We are discussing the failed and probably corrupt green energy policy of this administration, which have nothing to do with Iraq.

      • bensch says:

        It is always amazing to me that, even though people can add and subtract, they refuse to look at the totality of the numbers rather than just the part they are dealing with. For some reason, we came up with different figures, with yours being a bit more than half of what my computer added. So, let's go with yours, and say that the total we may be on the hook for is over $10B. A simple act of division shows that the losses come to 11% of the total. Any businessman, and certainly any hedge fund manager or investor, would be thrilled with this percentage, because the wins are SO much greater. Why is it that during Republican administrations we are told that "deficits don't matter" and that it is OK to subsidize mature industries (oil, gas, coal and nuclear), and that during Democrat ones, these same people say the exact opposite. Don;t you remember from one administration to the next???

      • montyHD says:

        Considering the 3 trillion price tag of the Iraq war for WMD's 6 billion seems quite modest.

    9. Rico Katt says:

      Obama's green energy "investments" were about $90 billion. This same $90 Billion "investment" to improve technology to clean up "dirty" coal and improve fracking technology would have been a better investment for America.

      This technology would have assured that coal,oil and natural gas could be continued to be used for electricity, saving all consumers money each month. This $90 billion "investment" would also have employed blue collar workers in the drilling, mining and manufacturing areas.

      Unfortunately, the $90 Billion in green energy "investments" was mostly wasted on the solar, wind, electric cars, and batteries that MUST BE TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED to retain their power capacity.

      • SC88 says:

        These "investments" were never meant to actually produce anything. They were payoffs to Obama supporters.

      • kelly titus says:

        Look up the stock symbol ADES. I own some and they are involved in treating coal that goes into the units and also selling equipment that helps clean the air. This is an operating company, not a pie in the sky pink sheet stock.

        Kel in Green Bay

      • mjazzguitar says:

        True, but Obama wanted to recreate America in his image.

    10. I think there's close to 50 of these Obama backed green energy failures (bankrupt and on life support, and over 65% that I know if have "meaningful" political ties to the presidend and high-ranking Democrats (like Senator Harry Reid), and in some cases both. This is a huge scandal that I know The Heritage has been chronicling from the beginning.

    11. John Doe says:

      Johnson Controls is NOT a "faltering" company. It is a highly successful and diversified Fortune-500 company listed on the NYSE. You did not check this list before publishing your story!!!

      • Don Lovell says:

        Hey John Doe it is not noted as BK. If it is successful why the $299 million dollars? Cronyism perhaps?

      • jenny doe says:

        The list also indicates those reducing their work force. Are they laying people off? Are they downsizing so as to reduce their health care costs when Obamacare kicks in?

      • Dan says:

        They just bought A123 Battery that lost the the $249 M in taxpayers money. They inherited the debt.

      • crmitchell says:

        I am familiar with Johnson and agree that they are financially solid – the article clearly said "The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market."

      • Mark says:

        Johnson Controls is not listed as declaring bankruptcy, only as having received FED money.

    12. Mike Eckardt says:

      I want to see two additional lists: Successful taxpayer backed green energy companies, and a list of how much these failed/failing companies donated to Obama. The first list is probably short. The second could be identical to the list presented here.

      • Bruce says:

        Successful companies backed by Obama:
        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
        6.

      • Mike Smith says:

        Good point. However, the list of successful companies is probably identical to the above.

        In the minds of Obama (and much of the MSM) Solyndra et al WERE successful. These people really are true believes in their own propaganda.

    13. RMB says:

      Crony capitalism sums it up, plain and simple. The most corrupt and opaque administration ever.

    14. Barbara Leinweber says:

      When we go to vote, let us remember that it is not just Obama but also Congress

    15. Bruce Geiger says:

      Obama likes higher energy prices!
      Higher energy prices drive jobs offshore!
      Obama wants more jobs!
      Beep! Beep!-Does not compute!

      • Chicago860 says:

        Remember, he said, "Under my plan, energy prices will necessarily skyrocket." And Americans voted for him anyway.

      • crmitchell says:

        You're 100% correct.

        Before jobs can be created, business must be created. Since this administration has done everything possible to stifle business, how can we expect job creation ?

    16. ActinUpinTexas says:

      If money was handed out there is a document that exists with the peoples names… Those names are very important because they have connections, those connections need to be published.

      We heard over and over and again the democrats screech Haliburton and trying to attach Haliburton to Bush and Cheney, but at least Haliburton did not fleece the American people and walk away from them with a pile of cash. Needless to also mention neither Bush nor Cheney were still affiliated with Haliburton either.

      These GREEN industry jobs and companies have been a circle jerk and a fiscal raping of the American Taxpayer….. The taxpayer money redirected hand over fist with little to none over site…waste, fraud and crony capitalism in the worse example of government trying to create a private sector business ever done in the history of our country. Sick and sad example of theft EVER!

    17. Barry Evans says:

      Where did all the money go? Here!!! Great JOB!

    18. GarandFan says:

      Perhaps Barry and lil' Stevie Chu could get some "investment" advice from Warren Buffet. But then, Warren doesn't expect a kickback from companies he invests in, he just wants positive results.

      • Tricia says:

        He also takes all benefits away from his people that have worked for his companies including the health insurance as soon as they shoved Obummercare down our throats and screwed retires out of a lot of health care. I know I worked for one of his investments.

    19. Tim says:

      Did everyone foward a copy of this to all their contacts?

    20. Smokey says:

      The corrupt Obama administration must be evicted from the White House in November.

    21. f mervar says:

      RIDICULOUS…..Can U say WASTE????

    22. Why is OUR money being spent on Obama's pet projects? That is taxpayer money being lost, not his money. Maybe we should send him a bill for the money lost.

      • Ptown27 says:

        The much larger questions is how much of this money was funneled directly back to Obama's re-election campaign?

        • Tricia says:

          Whats the matter with you people. He had Republicans thrown out of polling precincts and allowed Black Panthers to patrol in front of them. They are suppose to be able to over see the precincts. He is as crooked as the month is long. Besides letting people who are not citizens vote in our elections so he can win.

    23. belleboy says:

      Show me a loser and I will show you Obama and his egg-head Marxist-Socialists. This guy has broken the sound barrier wasting tax-payer's money

    24. Michael Reed says:

      Our Tax Dollars at Work… errr, Our Tax Dollars as Waste!

    25. ?FALCON? says:

      Four more years of allowing Obama to handle the treasury and America will collapse. He's demonstrated he has no clue how economics work.

      Worst. pResident. Ever. Period.

    26. Frank V says:

      I wonder how many of these companies, owners/ officers donated to the the current administrations campaign or the DNC. I'll bet its a majority. Can you say "Political Payback"

    27. Karl Stalin says:

      Failure or not, this type of tax payer investment secures him the "green" vote. It's not about green energy but instead world politics.

    28. sbenard says:

      Heritage, please continue to update this list. I have an ugly feeling this list will only grow longer!

    29. Jaker says:

      If Bain Capital or any other such company had a record like this they would be out of business and the investors would be suing them.

    30. sue says:

      Where can this list be published, so it can be spread like wildfire.

    31. nobama2012@yahoo.com says:

      I'd like to know how many of these companies Al Gore (and his venture capital companies) is invested in and how much they have made off of these bankruptcies.

    32. kato says:

      How did Johnson Controls get on this list? It may have laid off some lithium-battery workers, but the company is not faltering, and it is certainly not going bankrupt.

      Makes one wonder about the rest of the list.

      • Hangman_ says:

        Do You know the definition of an astrisk?
        Can We say poor reading comprehension?
        A liberal US school system graduate I presume….sad

    33. Dianara says:

      Every single one of this companies is related in one way oor another to Obama campaign donors, and this was the way he rewarded them , from our tax money.
      Obama is not a stupid man, and yet he did all of this….it cannot be by mistake, it looks like it was done on purpose, to bring this country to its knees.

    34. JAWilson says:

      What is the background on LSP Energy? $2.1 billion and one gas fired generating plant. Interesting.

    35. Richard Smith says:

      Advent Solar and Schott Solar are both gone from Albuquerque, NM. Both received State funds, but I don't know about Federal.

    36. Spartan 043 says:

      Why does everyone here continue to use the term "Crony Capitalism"? This is clearly "Crony Socialism"!

    37. Ed Conway says:

      these large companies just want more money to buy more panels so they can become richer more than they are… my green energy is going to work so sit back and watch… its all over the paper now people are investing it on thier homes and they are happy.. in 5 years it will be in the gigawatts becouse the solar panels will become more efficient…. there are different types of solar panels thats why the price is different…

    38. fisch says:

      UniSolar was a brand name not a company. Energy Conversion Devices was the parent company. Yes they went under but it was the same company. United Solar Ovonic LLC was the subsidiary of ECD and the PV maker. Traded under one company. Not two. And Johnson Controls is faltering?

    39. MjM says:

      @Heritage: Please dig deeper and tell us exactly how much of our fed tax money has actually been spent/lost by the bankrupt companies. That number would be interesting to know.

    40. I carry says:

      Now that's "leftist hope & change" that the fools of this country voted for. Free money to vote Dem and free money to open a scam business…..anybody wanna buy a bridge?

    41. Guest says:

      With $16T as our national debt, the $90B seems like mice nuts. Each of us as citizens, who allowed this to happen, need to take responsibility for these results. It did not happen overnight that we reached $16T in debt, and overall, some say as high as $120T in total government obligations going forward. I feel we need to ask ourselves, do we want our government involved in tax-payer funded investments regardless of technology or positive intent? Can we allow our government to do "business as usual", like this? Obviously, the $90B invested of taxpayer and borrowed money is reprehensible for this Administration to embark on a "winners and losers" escapade.

    42. Howard McCarthy says:

      While I am opposed to the federal government providing loans, loan guarantees or any other loan assistance,
      I think it is important to pin the tail on the right donkey and most of the people are blaming the president the real culprit is the congress which authorized the program and appropriated the funding.

    43. This is what happens when the government attempts to manipulate the free markets, picking winners and losers. While being led by a President that have no business knowledge or executive experience. Who then surrounds himself with idealogues that share in his philosophy. But are equally lacking in any real world private sector business knowledge or experience. Who then governs by implementing ideological theories rather than sound business practises. Will always result in predictable massive failure. Especially when the government is involved.

    44. Gadjotman says:

      Madoff and his scam pales in comparison to what the obama administration has done to the American taxpayer. Truly sad, but the good news he's gone January 20th 2013!

    45. Drieser says:

      The difference between Obama and Romney. Obama believes in risking our money and Romney knows that investment is for the venture capitalists. Enough said.

    46. jonC says:

      This is why government should not be involved in business. When a business makes a bad decision, it loses money or go bankrupt. When a government investment loses money, they simply raise taxes to cover the loss. Because there is no responsibility for bad investments and no need to make a profit, government business ventures are subject to high risk investments that are more likely to make more money but more likely also to lose money.

      • Hangman_ says:

        This is where Romney should excell,being a brilliant business exec He will have a different outlook than all these lawyer types that we have had foisted on US in the past

    47. Corey Han says:

      I rekeyed a house for a guy who was co-owner of one of these failed solar companies in Arizona. The guy told me it was a solar company that went out of business, but would not tell me which one. He said his partner (who he rented a house to) looted the place and filled what he could fit in the house & back yard. When I rekeyed the place there was a whole bunch of office chairs, desks, file cabinets etc.. The neighbor said random people where coming over and hauling stuff off piece by piece over the course of a couple of months. This is part of that 16.4 trillion dollar Obama price tag..

    48. W.K. says:

      It is obvious that the president and congress did NOT look into the financial strength of the companies before the aids were released. In many cases campaign contributions were rewarded. As Margret Thatcher ( fomer British PM) said: ” It is easy to go thru other people’s money”.

    49. Mutantone says:

      I want to know how much of the Tax Payers funds were sent back up stream to line Obama's pockets for his re-election funds? That is the real story of all these failed groups, how many were prior supporters of Obama's first campaign effort as the reason they got the funds in the first place as their reward. And now they are repaying the effort with more donations this time using tax payers funds.

    50. W. P.Koch says:

      Obviously these companies were not investigated for financial strength before release of funds. How many contribued to Obama's campaign, Reid and Pelosi?? As Margret Thatcher ( former British PM) said: " It is easy going thru other people's money:"

    51. Randy T says:

      What amazes me with the wacko tree hugers is it not Ok to accidently kill a few birds during a drilling/exploration for oil, but they can erect thousands of windmills that kill birds everyday! They are just a bunch of hypocrites that are delusional.

    52. Now I know what Obama meant when he said "It's just math". There's been at least half a Trillion dollars of our money thrown away on his pipe dream. And they have the nerve to ridicule Republicans about rape?

      I don't know about you but I sure as heck feel violated.

    53. Ray says:

      Could you imagine if Dept. of Energy Grants were include in the list? or Town/State/Federal Tax Credits? The level of corrupting in the United States in the Alternative "Energy" Sector is unprecedented.

    54. Keith says:

      This is only half the story. This $80 billion would pay for 8 new nuclear plants that would produce over 10,000 megawatts and put over 80,000 people to work for at least 10 years. But wait, it wouldn't even cost that in taxes because the gov't would only need to guarantee the loans. In fairness DOE has said they would guarantee loans but then charged $800 million in fees to guarantee a $20 billion loan. To top this all off, a 1,000 megawatt nuclear plant produces 1,000 nearly 98% of the time, a wind farm produces around 3% of capacity. …. So when your lights go out and you have no air conditioning you can thank DOE and the politians.

    55. TheRandyGuy says:

      The Obama supporters ignore this or chalk it up to "bad luck". At no time will they EVER say that it was the wrong thing for the Anointed One to do. Hell, even Obama refuses to talk about it, but he'll tell you "Give me four more years, I'm not done yet." That's what scares me.

    56. kelly says:

      How about this, you guys don't like any government investment so GET OFF THE FEDERAL HIGHWAYS AND I would bet that most of you have had some support from the tax base in one way or another…

      Please tell me how you man WILLARD will spur job growth from the "SO CALLED JOB CREATORS" when he is going to give them a tax cut by 20% but close the LOOPHOLES so they will pay no less or more in taxes??? That will really spur them to create jobs here in America RIGHT ???

      If they pay no more or less what the hell is that??? Please answer that for me…

    57. bobby says:

      In Holland MI the federally paid employees have not produced even one battery cell for sale. This is the LG Chem facility that Gov Grandholm spoke so highly of. The workers hang out and play cards, watch movies, do landscaping or help the poor fix their homes. A tax payer financed boondogle of the highest order. I hope for a change on Nov 6.

    58. What incredible waste. The ONLY investment that should be made by the government into technology should be into R&D…not production.

    59. Bob Nelson says:

      Just think what NASA, who began using fuel cells in the Gemini project in the 1960's, could have done with this money. Voyagers 1 and 2 are still transmitting, and they were launched, in, what, 1977? But, no, this administration laid off 5000 of its brightest and hardest working NASA people.

    60. Albert Long says:

      Sandra, you ask: "why is our money being spent on Obama's pet projects?" This is probably how it works: Obama's people contact these green energy companies and promise them a huge government backed loan if they could just pony-up a nice contribution to the Obama cause…the company makes the contribution….Obama is elected….the companies get their promised payment…All the officers in the company stuff as much of the money in their pockets as they can, set up lifetime golden parachutes for themselves then declare bankruptcy.

    61. P. Ang says:

      That's 7.5 billion on failed green energy. Not counting the 1 billion in taxpayer money he's used to try and re-elect himself.

    62. Think says:

      I'm trying to get this straight. Government should not support companies that could create jobs in America but they should give companies tax breaks. Isn't that government support of companies.

    63. Brad Woodhull says:

      If our government is going to invest in these projects, why don't they hire the venture capitalists, investment bankers and entrepreneurs to decide which ones are worthy. These people do this for a living and make a very good living being right about their choices!!

    64. Phil says:

      Will someone link this data to their political contributions?

    65. Brendon says:

      This article is clearly biased since the successes are not even mentioned anywhere. The total spending for all Green Energy businesses is nowhere to be seen so there is nothing to compare this to. For all we know from this article, there could be thousands of highly successful green energy companies that were invested in. I'm not saying whether I agree with the spending or not, but both sides should be represented honestly or this article means nothing.

    66. Brian says:

      How is this any different from the tax dollars given to early oil drilling companies ~100 years ago? Many went under, many got rich. We are STILL paying subsidies when the surviving companies make enough to cover the risks themselves. I'm not saying I support these companies, I know nothing about them, but don't act like the Republicans don't give money away to their own supporters. Personally, I think we should have given subsidies to solar, wind, and hybrid R&D 20 years ago, but the Right said they were anti-American, Socialist/Communist crap. OIL was American (I heard Limbaugh say this many times over several years). NOW they say foreign oil is evil and scream that we need to do 'something'. Course, they still think hybrids are for pansies and drive gas-guzzeling Hummers.

    67. Green jobs by the 1000's Oil jobs by 100,000 take your pick

    68. amagi says:

      Chinese economist Zhang Weiying put it well :

      We human beings always seek happiness,” says Mr. Zhang. “Now there are two ways. You make yourself happy by making other people unhappy—I call that the logic of robbery. The other way, you make yourself happy by making other people happy—that’s the logic of the market. Which way do you prefer?”

      It's obvious what Obama prefers.

    69. Ali Babba says:

      Good thing the US is running a budget surplus and did not need any of this money, eh?

    70. Ali Babba says:

      * "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" – Obama

      * “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States” – John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar

      * “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” – Steven Chu, Obama’s Energy secretary

    71. Peter D Walchusky Jr says:

      How people are so generous with other peoples money. This goes to share other peoples wealth as long as it's not his.

    72. SolarGuy says:

      Think you are in need of a few more corrections here. Does Heritage even know how to do research? Just a few off the top of my head:

      First Solar is doing very well. They have closed some factories overseas but have expanded here. They are the worlds leader in thin film solar panels. Only a couple of Chinese companies produce more.

      SunPower was majoirty acquired recently by Total. They are the US's biggest manufacturer or PV panels. They are a big supplier to corporations and the military. Their stock is way down but they are not "faltering",

      Schneider Electric – No idea why they are on here. There stock is off about 20% this year but up 10% from 2009

      Navistar?? Really? They used those funds to develop the ester truck which is now being delivered to FEDEX.

      Sorry I'm tired of doing the research that Heritage should have done in the first place so I'll leave it at that.

      • Ashe Schow says:

        Thank you for your comment! We have looked further into the companies you mentioned, and have concluded that three out of four will remain on the list.

        First Solar, as you said, has closed some factories overseas (a plant in Germany and idling four production lines in Malaysia), but it has also laid off workers in Europe and the United States. Combined, the layoffs total about 2,000 workers—30 percent of the company’s workforce.

        SunPower is cutting 15 percent to 17 percent of its global workforce (mostly in the Philippines). Its stock is also down from $133 a share to under $5 a share. That is a big drop, and due to low demand for its products, it is unlikely the stock will recover in the near future.

        Navistar has lost $3 billion in revenue from its trucks and engines, and has laid off nearly 4,000 employees. The company is currently working to correct these problems. Navistar’s main problems come from the EPA, which say its clean engines just aren’t clean enough, and it’s penalizing the company for each engine it sells.

        Schneider Electric has been removed.

        We hope that clears things up.

    73. Dan says:

      There is another company called Osage that I haven't seen in the press. They got a load of money from the government to make a barley fueled ethanol plant. They built it, then turned around and sold it. I think it sold at a loss. Essentially, it was a waste of money.

    74. So you think OBAMA is a new Robin Hood. Taking from the rich & giving to the poor, Think again!!! He took your tax dollars to invest it in companies that went bankrupt. So this is the man you want as your president? He will be the downfall of America.

    75. eideard says:

      Rarely have I seen so much fiction published as fact. Do you always post so many lies?

      Rate of repayment of DOE loans is well above VC rates. You list firms like Johnson Controls and Schneider Electric as faltering or ready to bankrupt!? Here – let me sell you ocean front property in Oklahoma.

      Absurd, false, criminal misleading.

      • Nat says:

        Yes, absolutely right, if you click on web links and read them they do not specify anything specific about bankrupcy, I think smbd paid big cash for this one ahead of election))

    76. Cliff Claven says:

      You should add UniSolar (ECD subsidiary in MI) to your list. They received a $13.275M investment tax credit from DoE/Treasury. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-so

    77. Loyal Coalson says:

      T hese companys should all be investigated for involvment into Obama & friends financial funding.

    78. Chuckles says:

      I guess our ex-president would not qualify as an investment counselor.

    79. mjazzguitar says:

      Obama to these companies:
      "You didn't build that."

    80. How do we get the rank and file to realize this? The mainstream media would never approach this subject.

    81. Shane Snipes says:

      How many successes have their been? What % payback has come from these investments? The failures are okay to look at, but the successes can also teach us something. These compared side by side would be a more informed presentation of the information.

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