The green energy scheme, which involves Obama rewarding taxpayer-backed loans to politically connect allies, has struck again. Thomas J. Snyder, non-executive Chairman of Ener1, has close ties to Obama. Obama appointed Snyder to his Roundtable on Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education. Snyder also attended an event at the White House in 2010. Wonder how many times Snyder, and other Ener1 executives, was at the White House asking for these taxpayer-backed loans?
Ener1, an electric car battery company that the Obama administration awarded a $118 million stimulus grant to expand its operations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday after being unable to repay pressing debts.
The news comes one year after Vice President Biden visited the company’s new battery plant in Indiana to highlight its progress with federal funds.
Ener1 is the third company to seek bankruptcy protection among those the Energy Department backed as part of the president’s signature program to invest in clean energy. Solyndra, a California solar-panel maker, and Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm, entered bankruptcy court proceedings in the fall, after having received taxpayer-guaranteed loans of $535 million and $43 million, respectively.
One of Ener1’s key struggles has been its reliance on one financially troubled customer, Think. The Norwegian carmaker filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2010.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday,President Obama foreshadowed the bad news by saying that he remained proud of his administration’s $80 billion commitment to clean-energy projects and companies, despite periodic failures.
“Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail,” Obama said. “But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.”
It’s not his money that’s being wasted on unproven “green technologies.” Its the taxpayers.
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who has led the congressional investigation into Solyndra’s loan, called Ener1 part of the “growing list of failed companies that went belly up” with taxpayer money.
“Sadly, the Department of Energy’s jobs record seems to grow worse by the day . . .and it is American taxpayers who are paying the price,” he said.