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Green Firms Get Fed Cash, Give Bonuses, Fail

From ABC News:

Green Firms Get Fed Cash, Give Execs Bonuses, Fail

By RONNIE GREENE and MATTHEW MOSK
March 6, 2012

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… 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… EnerDel corporate parent Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives — including $450,000 to then-CEO Charles Gassenheimer… 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.

Democrat machine politics is all about rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies.

The Department of Energy, asked about the payments examined by the Center and ABC, said it is troubled by the practice and intends to convey that message to loan recipients

That will show them!

The bonuses and bankruptcies come against a growing wave of trouble for companies financed with Energy Department dollars.

AKA, taxpayer dollars.

Of the first 12 loan guarantees the department announced, for instance, two firms filed for bankruptcy, a third has faced layoffs and a fourth deal never closed.

The nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste counts nearly 20 energy companies that have gotten federal loan guarantees or grants that have run into financial trouble ranging from layoffs to losses to bankruptcies…

To watchdogs, the pattern of firms awarding bonuses only to file for bankruptcy raises questions about how well the Energy Department chose its winners, and how thoroughly it kept an eye on them once selected

The ‘winners’ were Democrat donors. What is the problem?

In interviews, executives with companies backed by public dollars defended the payments as proper. Some said bonuses were granted for work done in a previous year, before financial storm clouds had fully developed, and that the executive cash infusions were sometimes linked to broad corporate milestones.

One company executive said the Energy Department explicitly allows for federal funds to be used to pay out executive bonuses. DOE does not set salaries and benefits of companies it backs

Naturally. These are no evil Wall Street types. These people are idealists. As well as, ‘Friends Of Obama" (FOO).

Solyndra executives, bankruptcy records show, pocketed thousands in payments just months before the company dismissed 1,100 workers. At least 17 company executives received two sets of payments — ranging from $37,000 to $60,000 per payment — on the same days in April and July 2011

Ener1, whose subsidiary EnerDel won the $118.5 million Energy Department grant in 2009 to help expand its manufacturing plant…In March 2011, [Ener1 CEO] Gassenheimer was awarded a $450,000 bonus, SEC records show. Two other Ener1 executives pocketed bonuses of $225,000 and $50,000 for a total payout of $725,000

Beacon Power’s bonuses were specifically linked to executives’ progress in landing the company’s $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009… President and Chief Executive Officer F. William Capp received a $133,256 cash bonus in March 2010. Two other company officials pocketed combined bonuses that month of $126,029

Other energy companies struggled in the storm.

Among them: SpectraWatt, a New York state manufacturer of silicon solar cells. In 2009, SpectraWatt secured a $500,000 grant from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory Photovoltaic Technology Pre-Incubator program… Last August, SpectraWatt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…

In March, the big payouts began. Five company executives, including [Richard J. Haug, SpectraWatt’s President and COO], received six-figure payments in late March or early April 2011, bankruptcy records show. The five "insider payments" totaled more than $745,000…

In recent weeks, several other companies backed by DOE dollars have encountered deep financial woes.

At least six Energy Department loan and grant recipients — from electric car maker Fisker Automotive to electric-car battery maker A123 Systems to Colorado-based Abound Solar — have laid off workers or suffered financial woes. Those setbacks come on top of the companies that have already filed for bankruptcy.

Administration officials, from Obama on down, say they continue to support the green energy mission. "There were going to be some companies that did not work out," Obama told reporters in October, after Solyndra’s meltdown. "All I can say is the Department of Energy made these decisions based on their best judgments."

Which tells us everything we need to know about their judgment, and Mr. Obama’s.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Green Firms Get Fed Cash, Give Bonuses, Fail”

  1. Chrispbass says:

    The Department of Energy, asked about the payments examined by the Center and ABC, said it is troubled by the practice and intends to convey that message to loan recipients…

    Hilarious…and telling.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I sincerely believe that Obama knows green energy anything is BS.

    He simply sees it as another toilet to flush dollars into in order to waste them and not let anyone else have them. Everything he says is a lie, so why even believe him when he says he supports green energy? He’s only given them money as a means to an end.

    The only reason he wants to be re-elected is to do more damage. Don’t confuse his motivation with anything other than being personally successful at destroying this nation from within. Everything else is just illusion and smoke-screening.


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