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Obama Officials Knews Fisker Was Failing. Also, Another Stimulus Backed Solar Company Going Down The Tubes

Written By : William Teach
April 24, 2013

The CBS article is entitled WH knew electric car maker Fisker was faltering: AP. Not sure that they can say that the White House knew, the provide no information on that, but the DOE certainly knew.

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Fisker

Newly obtained documents show the Obama administration was warned as early as 2010 that electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. was not meeting milestones set up for a half-billion dollar government loan, nearly a year before U.S. officials froze the loan after questions were raised about the company’s statements.

An Energy Department official said in a June 2010 email that Fisker’s bid to draw on the federal loan may be jeopardized for failure to meet goals established by the department.

Despite that warning, Fisker continued to receive money until June 2011, when the DOE halted further funding. The agency did so after Fisker presented new information that called into question whether key milestones — including the launch of the company’s signature, $100,000 Karma hybrid — had been achieved, according to a credit report prepared by the Energy Department.

In the June 2010 email, Sandra Claghorn, an official in the DOE’s loan program office, had written that Fisker “may be in limbo due to a lack of compliance with financial covenants” set up by the Energy Department to protect taxpayers in the event of default. Another document, from April 2010, listed milestones that Fisker had not yet met.

Despite the knowledge that Fisker was not meeting the milestones, they were still provided with taxpayer funds to build EVs that virtually no one would or could buy. The DOE pissed away $192 million on Fisker before pulling the plug. Fisker has payed back $22 million, but, surprise!, they’ve missed their latest loan repayment window. Of course, the DOE is attempting a bit of CYA, as are Fisker officials, who place part of the blame on the collapse of A123, another Stimulus recipient, who would have made the batteries.

And, speaking of other Stimulus recipients

A company that was touted as “the next wave of Oregon’s solar manufacturing industry” plans to shut down its North Portland plant and cut jobs.

SoloPower was supposed to bring more than 450 good paying jobs to Portland. Instead the company will end up cutting the few jobs it had created here, according to a mandatory public notice of pending layoffs.

“As a result of a significant downturn in business and the need for a major reorganization, SoloPower is planning to suspend its operations on June 17,” wrote Julian Biggs, SoloPower’s chief legal officer, in a letter to the state.

They’re cutting 29 jobs, because the 450 good paying jobs never materialized, which seems to be a consistent pattern with “green energy” companies which received stimulus funding. They would have received up to $200 million from the DOE and $40 million from Oregon. And SoloPower was supposed to be a “safe bet”, with little concern that they would close the plant and take it overseas. At least that’s what the contract said, with a requirement that they stay in the US for 10 years.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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