Print 21 comment(s) - last by Captain Awesom.. on Oct 24 at 12:33 PM

Winner hasn't been announced nor has the size of the loss for taxpayers

The Energy Department has been conducting an auction seeking bidders for the $168 million of the $528 million loan originally given to Fisker Automotive before it went belly up. While the auction has ended, the energy Department hasn't officially announced who won the auction.

The auction was conducted last Friday including opening bids from an unknown number of qualified bidders. The federal government is evaluating all of the bids in an attempt to find one that is in the best interests of the taxpayers. Once the final bidder is chosen the remaining negotiations having to do with the sale will take place.

Fisker was originally granted a $528 million loan from the $25 billion Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing loan program instituted by the Obama administration. Fisker went on to lose roughly $35,000 on each Karma it sold, and when the company failed to make a $10 million payment to the Department of Energy in April of this year, the government seized the company's reserve account and recouped some of that original loan amount.

Despite the high-profile failures of automakers under the government loan plan, the Obama administration is looking to start the controversial Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing loan program up again.

The executive director of the Energy Department loan program office Peter W Davidson said last month, "After exhausting any realistic possibility for a sale that might have protected our entire investment, the department announced today that we are auctioning the remainder of Fisker’s loan obligation, offering the best possible recovery for the taxpayer."

Source: Detroit News

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RE: falureS
By mav99 on 10/18/2013 2:53:15 PM , Rating: 4
Of the major "failures" you list these, which are the top recipients of federal money that you list,

SunPower ($1.2 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)

are still in business and going strong. Please check your facts.

I didn't bother to check every single company on your list, but yes, some have actually failed.

Please check your facts.

RE: falureS
By GulWestfale on 10/18/2013 5:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
i think your government wanting to push new energies and making sure that american companies are at the forefront of this and are globally competitive is a great thing; but how the government did this is not. they apparently didn't really check into whether their money was being spent on actual engineering by qualified and dedicated people, or whether they just handed it to some guy who wanted to get rich(er).

it's sad for your taxpayers. i wonder how many politicians received "campaign contributions" to encourage them to fund these companies.

RE: falureS
By Reclaimer77 on 10/19/2013 8:58:34 AM , Rating: 4
Notice how those three companies were given billions, while most received a few million? Gee I wonder why they're still in business?

Failure, success, who cares? The point is every single dollar put into these companies is a waste. Regardless of the results.

RE: falureS
By Solandri on 10/19/2013 2:47:48 PM , Rating: 5
Those dollar amounts are loan guarantees, aren't they?

A loan guarantee is not money received from the federal government. It's the government telling the bank it'll pay back the loan if the company fails to pay it back. In other words, the "company" only received federal money if it goes bankrupt (the money they used up from the loan came from the fed's coffers instead of the bank's).

If the company manages to stay in business long enough to pay back the loans, then it won't have received any federal money. It's actually one of the more common-sense type of subsidies - it costs the government less if they provide loan guarantees to companies which don't go bankrupt.

RE: falureS
By conq on 10/21/2013 1:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
A loan guarantee is not money received from the federal government.

Not going to nit pick over verbiage since they all "received" money in the form of loans. But I'm sure a macro economist would agree with you since you're looking at the big picture. But I would emphatically disagree that we couldn't have done better. So my concern with it is that it seems they hand out these loans with too few strings attached. Minimal liability and protection for tax dollars - remember this isn't just the government spending their money, it's the government spending *our* money. Seeing the failure rates, I am not surprised anyone could confuse these loan guarantees with VC funding, because to me it looks like a guise.

I would personally find different ways to kick start alternative energies, or at least significantly modified.

And yes, absolutely eliminate the subsidies for big oil while you're at it to even the playing field.

RE: falureS
By BladeVenom on 10/21/2013 4:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
SunPower and First Solar lost money last year. While Brightsource is private, so you don't really know how they are doing.

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