Good News! $6.5 Billion In Taxpayers Funds At Risk In “Green” Ventures

We just saw a Friday document dump from the White House, where they were fretting about the planned layoffs at Solyndra. This should bump the fretting up to Category 5 (and probably earn CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson another profanity laced tirade from White House personnel)

(CBS News) Solar panel maker Solyndra received a $528 million Energy Department loan in 2009 – and went bankrupt last year. The government’s risky investment strategy didn’t stop there, as a CBS News investigation has uncovered a pattern of cases of the government pouring your tax dollars into clean energy.

Take Beacon Power — a green energy storage company. We were surprised to learn exactly what the Energy Department knew before committing $43 million of your tax dollars.

Documents obtained by CBS News show Standard and Poor’s had confidentially given the project a dismal outlook of “CCC-plus.”

Asked whether he’d put his personal money into Beacon, economist Peter Morici replied, “Not on purpose.”

“It’s, it is a junk bond,” Morici said. “But it’s not even a good junk bond. It’s well below investment grade.”

Was the Energy Department investing tax dollars in something that’s not even a good junk bond? Morici says yes.

“This level of bond has about a 70 percent chance of failing in the long term,” he said.

Here’s where it gets even better

CBS News counted 12 clean energy companies that are having trouble after collectively being approved for more than $6.5 billion in federal assistance. Five have filed for bankruptcy: The junk bond-rated Beacon, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy and Solyndra.

In terms of the Central Government budget, $6.5 billion is chump change. For the 53% who do pay federal taxes, this is an obscene use of our hard earned money to prop up companies that are bound to fail in the name of making Obama’s politically motivated “green” energy initiative look good, at least in the short term, as well as hook up Democrat campaign donors and backers.

The long term shame here is that this type of malfeasance damages the future of clean energy. I believe that most of us can agree that these “alternative” energy sources are part of the future. They aren’t ready for prime time. Not yet. Not even close. Wasting taxpayer money on doomed and mostly worthless ventures will certainly erode any near term future investments in these types of companies, even ones that are probably going to be winners.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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