November 23 2013
Vicki E. Alger
It’s being called the biggest taxpayer loss since Solyndra. As the Daily Caller reported:
Happy Thanksgiving from the Obama administration. The Energy Department has sold off its $192 million loan guarantee to Fisker Automotive to Chinese billionaire Richard Li for $25 million — the biggest taxpayer loss on a green loan since the failure of Solyndra.
The Energy Department will announce the “selling of the promissory note” to Hybrid Tech, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Richard Li, according to sources familiar with the sale. The DOE sold the loan to Li for $25 million after lending the financially troubled green automaker a total of $192 million since 2009.
“Once again, American taxpayers are losing out to foreign investors due to the Obama administration’s failed green energy policies. Time after time this administration has fumbled the ball with their attempts to pick winners and losers when it comes to American energy,” House Energy and Commerce Committee vice chairman Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“As a result of President Obama’s misguided policies, the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee program is quickly becoming a highly utilized stimulus program for foreign investors,” she added.
Environmental activists and celebrities—including Al Gore, Justin Bieber, and Leonardo DiCaprio—flocked to the Fisker Karma, touted as “a bold expression of uncompromised responsible luxury.”
Turns out that luxury wasn’t so responsible after all—at least for those of us who can’t (or won’t) shell out $100,000+ for a car. After failing to meet annual Energy Department benchmarks since 2009, Fisker’s loan was finally pulled, leaving taxpayers with a $139 million tab.
Consumers are increasingly looking for cars that are friendly to the environment as well as their wallets. When government gets involved picking what it thinks are winners, it’s usually wrong—and taxpayers wind up being the biggest losers of all.