Another subsidy-backed green energy company, this time the Spanish company Abengoa, has filed for bankruptcy within the United States. But before doing so, squandered over $2 billion in federal funds. The company mistakenly gambled on a government-backed artificial “green energy boom” they hoped would spurn new growth and opportunity for the company.
The Obama Administration, ever pushing their green energy ideology, tampered with the market by dolling out $2.7 billion worth of federal subsidies to Abengoa, which of course was taxpayer funded. According to the Daily Caller,
“The pro-labor union group Good Jobs First reported last year Abengoa has ‘received $605 million in grants and allocated tax credits; $464 million came from Section 1603 and most of the rest from Energy Department research grants.’ That’s on top of the $2.7 billion the company got in DOE loans.”
The company amassed $17 billion in debt hoping for the green energy boom that never happened, leading to this eventual bankruptcy.
Sadly, this is just one of many attempts of the Obama Administration’s interference with the free market leading to the loss of taxpayer money. The name Solyndra should ring a bell. After substantial pressure from the administration, the DOE expedited loan the process for the company to taxpayer-backed handouts. The company took over $530 million in loans from the government in 2009. Only two years after, they laid off 1,100 employees and filed for bankruptcy.
A similar failed attempt to force “green energy” into the market can be seen by the fiasco of Smith Electric Vehicles. Before the company filed for bankruptcy, they secured almost $30 million in taxpayer-backed subsidies. Smith Electric reported that they only created 70.4 jobs instead of the 220 jobs projected by the White House. The DOE wasted an average of $414,000 per new job created.
The list of examples of wasteful sweetheart deals the President has used to force his agenda is not a short one to say the least. In addition to Abengoa, Solyndra, and Smith Electric, the DOE also handed out $529 million in loans to Fisker Automotive, which in 2014 filed for bankruptcy. Clearly these failed taxpayer funded gambles are not isolated incidents.
The Obama Administration just doesn’t learn from their mistakes. Forcing the market to further the Administration’s ideology by propping up politically connected businesses is clearly a faulty effort, and more often than not comes at the expense of taxpayers.