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Obama Battery Boondoggle Goes Bust

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.

19 Responses to Obama Battery Boondoggle Goes Bust

    • what really gets my goat is 1 billion dollars is the cost of insulating all major and minor transformers in this country against an EMP. We’ve dumped 1000x that on some stupid mass green energy program and as soon as the terrorists get a nuke, all they need to do is blow one nuke 10 miles above the surface and America goes back to the 1800’s. All the frigging money wasted in our government and they won’t spend a billion to prevent this. Fortunately, when it does happen, most members of congress will feed 3 reavers.

  1. Wonder how many Obama donors are involved in this latest failed adventure in crony capitalism? Speaking of fraud, just found out about Solyndra destroying brand new parts they still haven’t paid the manufacturer for. Cheaper to destroy the parts rather than take the time and effort to resell or give them away. Easy to do when it’s other peoples money you are throwing away…

    • Oh, you mean you expected them to do what they could to try and recoup some of the taxpayers money? HA HA, HAHA, now that is rich! (Oops, better be careful, they will think I am talking about my pocket book…)

  2. I sure hope the republican party is keeping track of all of these green companies that Obama sunk billions on that went bankrupt. It would make a great campaign commercial. But then again, when has the republican party ever been thinking and clever.

  3. Intricate energy systems, their functions and future potential are beyond the ken of most lawyers. Obama has proven that those with legal degrees fall flat attempting to conceptualize the countries energy needs and where to turn for them. We covered the lawyers mindset and poverty of neural substance in our book Demons of Democracy.

    • He should be able to distinguish between BASIC RESEARCH–how batteries work, what materials test and which don’t, better ways to make them–and actually funding the making of a certain battery and assuming the risk of it not working or selling. The govt should do only the first, not the second. Once something is proved, private money will come in. Can we say privatre equity anymore…?

      • The government shouldn’t do the first either. We’re in the battery business. Do not need.

        Where there is going to be a profi at some future point, there will be people out there finding a way for it to be done.

        The government fund the research of those connected with government. not those best suited for the job.

  4. They have been working on battery powered cars for decades with no breakthroughs. Did you know there was a battery powered car prior to the Model T? Guess what, combustion engines won out. Why? Because they can go farther without refueling. If all it took was money it would have been invented years ago. Every engineering college in America every year has done research into alternative energies. It’s just not there yet, may never be.

  5. Let me see if I understand what’s going on here. Obama takes a gamble on his buddies ‘green on the outside red on the inside’ utopian energy-related businesses under the guise of saving the environment, and the only losers are the American taxpayer? They walk away from their investment richer than when they started, and we’re expected just to sit back and say nothing? You politicians just don’t know what’s coming your way in November.

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