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Obama Still Trying To Pick Winners Despite Losing Record

- March 18, 2013

 

OBAMA CALLED FOR RENEWED INVESTMENT IN CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES 

Obama Unveiled A New Plan To Invest $2 Billion Over The Next Decade In "Electric Vehicles, Biofuels, Fuel Cells, And Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles." "A key part of that plan, according to the White House, is the creation of an 'Energy Security Trust,' in which some offshore drilling royalties would be steered into development of technologies that help curb reliance on oil for transportation. The money - $2 billion over a decade - would support research into advancing technology around electric vehicles, biofuels, fuel cells, and natural gas-powered vehicles, according to the White House." (Carlo Munoz, "Obama Doubles Down On Alternative Energy," The Hill, 3/16/13)

  • Obama Called For The Creation Of A "Energy Security Trust" To Invest In "Breakthrough Technologies" And "Remake America's Energy Economy." "Obama called for establishing an Energy Security Trust, which would divert $2 billion in federal revenue from oil and gas leasing toward clean energy research. The money would be invested in breakthrough technologies that ultimately, if successful, could remake America's energy economy by weaning the transportation sector off oil." (Philip Rucker, "Obama Proposes $2 Billion Plan For Clean Energy Technology Research," The Washington Post, 3/15/13)

BUT A NEW GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT CRITICIZED OBAMA'S LAST GREEN ENERGY PROGRAM

In A New Report, The Government Accountability Office Questioned The Effectiveness Of Obama's $25 Billion Energy Loan Program That Will "Leave Two-Thirds Of The Money Unspent." "A Department of Energy loan program, infused with $25 billion to spur a wave of fuel-efficient vehicles, has not closed a loan in two years and is likely to leave two-thirds of the money unspent amid fallout over the Solyndra debacle and other factors. Those findings, revealed Friday in a U.S. Government Accountability Office report, rekindle questions over how effectively the Energy Department picks winners and losers for its lucrative green energy portfolio." (Ronnie Greene, "Energy Department Auto Loan Program Sputters," The Center For Public Integrity, 3/15/13)

  • In 2011, The GAO Criticized The Energy Loan Program For "Lacking Clear Benchmarks To Ensure Taxpayer Dollars Were Properly Spent." "This is not the first time auditors have questioned the ATVM program. An earlier GAO audit, released in 2011, warned that the $25 billion may never fully be spent in a program lacking clear benchmarks to ensure taxpayer dollars were properly spent." (Ronnie Greene, "Energy Department Auto Loan Program Sputters," The Center For Public Integrity, 3/15/13)

The GAO Report Found That The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program Spent $8.4 Billion On Just Five Projects. "That program was pitched as part of a broader government campaign to spur innovative, clean technologies that would both rev up the economy and clean the environment. Under ATVM, the government would help bankroll electric cars and other fuel-saving initiatives; this seed money would, in turn, trigger a domino effect for industry and consumers. Yet the last loan closed in March 2011, and just $8.4 billion has been spent so far in five projects." (Ronnie Greene, "Energy Department Auto Loan Program Sputters," The Center For Public Integrity, 3/15/13)

Two Of DOE's Vehicle Manufacturing Loans Went To "Politically Connected" Firms "Despite Questions From Analysts." "An investigation by The Center for Public Integrity and ABC News, published in October 2011, revealed that DOE made a $1 billion bet on two politically connected California car companies - Tesla and Fisker - despite questions from analysts and others about how well their electric cars would fare in the market." (Ronnie Greene, "Energy Department Auto Loan Program Sputters," The Center For Public Integrity, 3/15/13)

Solyndra Was The First Company To Receive A Loan Under DOE's Program, And Was Issued "Without All Due Diligence In Hand, Putting Taxpayers At Risk." "Solyndra, the first green energy loan guarantee unveiled by the Obama administration, was announced with fanfare in early 2009. Yet the Center and ABC reported in May 2011 that DOE initially green-lighted the $535 million loan without all due diligence in hand, putting taxpayers at risk. Later in 2011, Solyndra shuttered its California headquarters and filed for bankruptcy." (Ronnie Greene, "Energy Department Auto Loan Program Sputters," The Center For Public Integrity, 3/15/13)

AND OBAMA'S DOE ISN'T USING THE MONEY IT ALREADY HAS

According To The GAO, The Department Of Energy Loan Program Has A Combined "$51 Billion In Unused Loan And Loan Guarantee Authority." "DOE's Loan Programs Office administers both programs, which when combined have about $51 billion in unused loan and loan guarantee authority and approximately $4.4 billion in unused credit subsidy appropriations." (Frank Rusco, Government Accountability Office Director Of Natural Resources And Environment, Letter To Senators Dianne Feinstein And Lamar Alexander And Representatives Rodney P. Frelinghuysen And Marcy Kaptur, 3/15/13)

The DOE's 1703 Loan Guarantee Program Was Designed To "Provide Loan Guarantees For Innovative Clean Energy Projects" Such As "Renewable Energy Systems" And "Advanced Fossil Energy Technologies." "Section 1703 - Renewables or Efficient End-Use Technology Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program (1703): Section 1703 of EPACT authorizes DOE to provide loan guarantees for innovative clean energy projects in categories including renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, advanced nuclear facilities, advanced fossil energy technologies (including carbon sequestration), and various other types of projects." (Frank Rusco, Government Accountability Office Director Of Natural Resources And Environment, Letter To Senators Dianne Feinstein And Lamar Alexander And Representatives Rodney P. Frelinghuysen And Marcy Kaptur, 3/15/13)

The Department Of Energy Confirmed The GAO's Conclusion That It "Is Not Likely To Use The Remaining Advanced Technical Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program Authority." "The agency, in a written response to auditors, acknowledged it 'is not likely to use the remaining Advanced Technical Vehicles Manufacturing loan program authority under the current eligibility requirements.'" (Ronnie Greene, "Energy Department Auto Loan Program Sputters," The Center For Public Integrity, 3/15/13)


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