Green Energy Firms Took Government Money, Awarded Bonuses, Filed for Bankruptcy

Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Charles Gassenheimer
Some “green” energy companies supported by the Obama administration have caused critics to see red.
 
That’s because at least four alternative energy businesses that received financing from the Department of Energy wound up filing for bankruptcy, but not before they gave executives generous bonuses.
 
One of the companies, Beacon Power Corp., secured a $43 million energy loan and awarded $259,285 to three top officials. It then filed for Chapter 11 last October.
 
Another costly failure was EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems. It was given a $118.5 million energy grant. Its parent company Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives, including $450,000 to CEO Charles Gassenheimer. The company filed for bankruptcy two months ago. In September 2010, the White House had boasted that EnerDel was one of “100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America.”
 
Leslie Paige, spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, told The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News, “Giving a bonus to the executives under these circumstances is rewarding failure with our money with no chance of getting it back.”
 
The latest Obama Energy Department problems come in the wake of the Solyndra solar-panel debacle, which cost taxpayers $535 million in lost loan guarantees when the company ran out of money in September 2011…just as department analysts had warned it would.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
 
To Learn More:
Energy-Backed Firms Award Bonuses, File Bankruptcy (by Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, iWatch News)

Obama Administration Ignored Accurate Warnings about Failed Solar Company (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 

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