Another green energy beneficiary of the Obama stimulus legislation has gone belly up.
Ener1 Inc., which received $118.5 million out of the 2009 stimulus bill in order to make advanced vehicle batteries, filed Thursday for bankruptcy.
Nevertheless, the company will stay in business while it restructures its finances and will go forward with its battery building program. We’ll see for how long.
The bankruptcy is yet another blow to the Obama strategy of line iteming portions of the stimulus bill for projects that advance its political and policy agenda. Last September, the solar panel maker Solyndra declared bankruptcy and shuttered its plants after having received $527 in government loans.
The parceling out of funds for favored projects is an example of what former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was talking about soon after Obama was elected in 2008, when he said:
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.
In a sign that the battery maker’s funding may have been poorly vetted, Ener1 received from the government the full amount of money it had requested.
Nobody should get all the money they request. Even your child, when asking for some allowance, is shooting high with the expectation of getting something less.
Just Tuesday, during his State of the Union address, Obama touted the government’s aid to the green car battery industry.
In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries.
Unlike Solyndra, Obama didn’t personally visit Ener1 to laud its potential. But Vice President Biden did, almost exactly a year ago. Here’s what he said:
Look around you all. It’s a big facility. Partially used. But it’s going to grow!
Whoops, not so fast. Here’s a slick video that was produced by the company, centering on Biden’s visit.
Feel bad for those workers. Hope their jobs will be okay.