ABC News explains Barack Obama’s green energy programs:
President Obama’s Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.
Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March 2010, the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to progress made on the $43 million energy loan, Securities and Exchange Commission records show. Last October, Beacon Power filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems, landed a $118.5 million energy grant in August 2009. About one-and-a-half years later, Vice President Joe Biden toured a company plant in Indiana and heralded its taxpayer-supported expansion as one of the “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.”
Two months after Biden’s visit, EnerDel corporate parent Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives — including $450,000 to then-CEO Charles Gassenheimer, who led Biden on the tour. This January, Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
At least two other firms that benefited from Energy Department funding — one a $500,000 grant, the other a $535 million loan guarantee — handed out hefty payouts to executives and later went bankrupt.
The Department of
Handing Money to Obama donors Energy says it’s “troubled” by these practices:
“We don’t begrudge companies or their executives for their success, but it is irresponsible for executives to be awarded bonus compensation when their workers are losing their jobs,” said department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman. “We take our role as stewards of taxpayer dollars very seriously, and as such, we will make clear to loan recipients our view that funds should not be directed toward executive bonuses when the rest of the company is facing financial difficulty.”
So the process is comprised of several steps:
1. Hand out money, 80% going to Obama donors.
2. Big bonuses and payouts to executives
3. Go bankrupt.
And there is one more step
4. In liquidation, make sure Obama donors are paid before the US taxpayer.
The list of Obama green energy failures is long
And the best news is that Obama promises to double down on those failures.
A century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough,” Obama said. “It’s time to end taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.
BTW, heard about Fisker?
At least we have the Justice Department to monitor abusive bonus practices at bankrupt companies. Right?
The Justice Department said it doesn’t closely track how it is enforcing a law curbing executive pay in corporate bankruptcy cases. The disclosure, made in a letter to key lawmakers, comes amid criticism of such payouts in courts and on Capitol Hill. The Justice Department—whose U.S. trustees monitor bankruptcy proceedings—doesn’t have precise data on executive-pay plans reviewed since an overhaul of federal bankruptcy law, according to the March 5 letter.
Coincidence, I’m sure.