How are those Green Jobs Working Out for Ya’?
Let me be perfectly clear: Government funded “green jobs” are a waste of your tax dollars.
Here’s a little video flashback from 2009 for your amusement:
Now, here’s the reality:
Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland
By MATTHEW MOSK, BRIAN ROSS (@brianross) and RONNIE GREENE
With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.
Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.
“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”
Henrik Fisker said the U.S. money has been spent on engineering and design work that stayed in the U.S., not on the 500 manufacturing jobs that went to a rural Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive.
“We’re not in the business of failing; we’re in the business of winning. So we make the right decision for the business,” Fisker said. “That’s why we went to Finland.”
Translation: “We’ll gladly take the money, but your government has made it so freakin’ expensive to do business in America that to do so would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. So long and thanks for all the fish!”
The loan to Fisker is part of a $1 billion bet the Energy Department has made in two politically connected California-based electric carmakers producing sporty — and pricey — cutting-edge autos. Fisker Automotive, backed by a powerhouse venture capital firm whose partners include former Vice President Al Gore, predicts it will eventually be churning out tens of thousands of electric sports sedans at the shuttered GM factory it bought in Delaware. And Tesla Motors, whose prime backers include PayPal mogul Elon Musk and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, says it will do the same in a massive facility tooling up in Silicon Valley.
There is intense scrutiny of the decisions made by the Department of Energy as it invests billions of taxpayer dollars in alternative energy. The questions come in the wake of the administration’s failed $535 million investment in solar panel maker Solyndra. The company’s collapse, bankruptcy and raid by FBI agents generated a litany of questions about how the Energy Department doles out billions in highly sought after green energy seed money.
A key question, experts and investigators say, is whether another Solyndra is in the offing.
“Two years ago, critics said we shouldn’t be investing in American auto manufacturing at all because the industry wouldn’t survive,” said Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman. “They were wrong then and they’re wrong today […]”
I call BS on that bit of revisionist history: We “critics” didn’t object to the auto bailout on the grounds that the auto manufacturers wouldn’t survive, we objected because the government doesn’t have any Constitutional right to take over a failing business and waste all of our money picking winners and losers when the free market can do it much more efficiently—and at no cost to us taxpayers.
“[…]From well-established names like Ford to innovative startups like Tesla and Fisker, America’s auto industry is being reinvented. Continuing this turnaround demands more innovation, not defeatism. While supporting innovative technologies always carries a degree of risk, these investments deliver long-term benefits.”
Yet an audit this year by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, criticized the Energy Department for not keeping close enough tabs on its fleet of auto loans — including those to Fisker and Tesla — to ensure they meet benchmarks. The funding was issued under the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, one piece of a giant umbrella of DOE loans and loan guarantees going out the door.
“DOE cannot be assured that the projects are on track to deliver the vehicles as agreed,” said the GAO report examining the department’s ATVM program. “It also means that U.S. taxpayers do not know whether they are getting what they paid for through the loans.”
Between them, Fisker, at $529 million, and Tesla, at $465 million, have secured nearly $1 billion to jump-start production of their cars. Combined, the companies have already drawn down more than $300 million, Federal Financing Bank records show.
The majority of the DOE funding for Fisker is earmarked for the company to develop a less costly, mass market sedan, called Project Nina. Energy officials issued the loans for a car that, even two years later, has not been publicly revealed.
“A half billion dollars for a car that no one has seen a picture of, in the Fisker Nina, was a bit more surprising to people,” Sexton said.
Standing in a shuttered General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del., Vice President Biden proclaimed that a half-billion-dollar Department of Energy loan would transform the idled site into a production line for electric cars.
FYI – Fisker agreed to buy the closed GM plant in Delaware for $20 million—promising over 2000 jobs—in order to pull the wool over the administration’s eyes and secure the DOE loan of $529 million. The fact that Obama and Biden fell for this obvious ploy just goes to show that they know NOTHING about how the business world works and are just fatuously gambling our money away.
“Folks, we’re making a bet,” Biden said on Oct. 27, 2009. “We’re making a bet on the future, we’re making a bet on the American people, we’re making a bet on the market, we’re making a bet on innovation.”
Looks like you lost that bet, Mr. Biden… So, quit gambling on our dime; admit you have a problem and immediately check yourself into Gambler’s Anonymous.
The Department of Energy loan to Fisker closed in April 2010, and again Biden took center stage in a department statement announcing the loan. “The story of Fisker is a story of ingenuity of an American company, a commitment to innovation by the U.S. government and the perseverance of the American auto industry,” said the vice president.
And, how’d all that flowery BS work out for ya’?
Energy Department officials have been steadfast that politics never entered the picture and each project was screened by professionals and secured on the merits. And executives from Tesla and Fisker said they won government support because their projects had the best shot at success. They said the involvement of well-connected figures in their companies should not suggest they attempted to use special influence to secure the loans.
Really? Gee, then I guess there’s nothing to see here folks. Just walk away…
Both companies have political heavyweights behind them. One of Fisker’s biggest financial supporters, records show, is the California venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The firm financially supports numerous green-tech firms, records show.
Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, a California billionaire who made a fortune investing in Google, hosted President Obama at a February dinner for high-tech executives at his secluded estate south of San Francisco. Doerr and Kleiner Perkins executives have contributed more than $1 million to federal political causes and campaigns over the last two decades, primarily supporting Democrats. Doerr serves on Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Doerr has not replied to interview requests since March.
Former Vice President Al Gore is another Kleiner Perkins senior partner. Gore could not be reached for comment.
“Their major venture investor is Kleiner Perkins, who has Al Gore as a partner and is certainly politically connected in general,” said industry observer Sexton. “Whether that played a role or not is up to the DOE to explain.”
Tesla brings political pull, as well. A former Tesla board member, Steve Westly, is an Obama bundler who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the president in 2008 and for his 2012 re-election campaign. His Westly Group was also a financial supporter of Tesla Motors until Tesla went public in 2010, and Westly continues to back the company. Westly has declined interview requests since February, but has appeared in multiple conferences, forums and TV interviews publicly praising Tesla Motors.
Tesla’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, is a hearty political contributor who has primarily backed Democrats, including Obama. According to published reports, another Tesla investor is Nick Pritzker, a donor to Obama and a cousin of Penny Pritzker, the national finance chair of Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Sheesh! Talk about cronyism! Obviously, the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd is protesting the wrong people; the real culprits are sitting in the White House.
O’Connell, the Tesla executive, said political muscle played no role in the company’s award of the $465 million in loans, noting that the initial application was filed under Bush — though landed under Obama.
Yup, there’s that, “Blame Bush!” BS, again. The fact of the matter is that a Democrat controlled Congress and Senate rammed through a bunch of legislation during their “100 hour plan.” Part of that legislation was the Energy Independence and Securities Act of 2007 which is the overarching legislation responsible for all of those tax dollars being siphoned off to pay for this “green” crap. Just because Bush signed the bill into law when it landed on his desk, doesn’t mean that it’s all his fault.
But then, when have facts ever gotten in the way of blaming Bush?
Tesla has yet to turn a profit and suffered net losses in each quarter. “Since inception and through the three and six months ended June 30, 2011, we had accumulated net losses of $522.8 million,” its most recent 10-K form shows.
Do you hear that sound? That’s the sound of YOUR hard earned money being flushed down the toilet by the Obama administration.
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