Once again American taxpayers are being soaked by the Obama administration’s quest for failed green energy projects. On Friday, officials announced that they will lose $139 million loaned to beleaguered electric car maker Fisker Automotive. Unfortunately, the administration doesn’t seem to learn its lesson about wasting public funds on failed green ventures such as the $528 million it lost on Solyndra.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) (R-Pa) and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) (R-Pa,) leaders of House Energy and House Investigative committees, released a joint statement: “Fisker’s collapse closes yet another sad chapter in DOE’s troubled portfolio. The jobs that were promised never materialized and once again tax payers are on the hook for the administration’s reckless gamble.”
Fisker investors, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, where Al Gore is a partner, spent $400,000 lobbying the Obama Administration for a piece of the $90 billion in green energy program subsides. As a result, Fisker was awarded $529 million in loan guarantees to produce the Karma, a hybrid sports car with a price tag of a whopping $103,000. Unable to meet the DOE benchmarks, the company lost most of its originals funding. Yet Fisker was still able to draw down on the loan to a sizable $192 million before the administration pulled the plug.
Due to a paucity of consumer demand, the balance sheet tanked into the red and Fisker was forced into bankruptcy, defaulting on its loan obligation. Hybrid Technology LLC was able to grab the company by buying the remaining defaulted loan. Combined with the administration seizing $21 million from Fisker back in April, $139 million was left on the table for taxpayers to absorb.
DOE spokesman Bill Gibbons thinks overall dumping of $139 million onto the taxpayers’ backs isn’t so bad, “While this result is not what anyone hoped for, this amount represents less than 2 percent of our advance vehicle loans and less than one-half of 1 percent of our overall loan program portfolio of more than $30 billion.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (R-Tenn), House Energy and Commerce Committee leader, is appalled by the Obama administration’s bungled green energy program, lamenting, “Time after time the administration has fumbled the ball with their attempts to pick winners when it comes to American energy.”