Found this tidbit while perusing the local rag this afternoon.
Glad to see SOMEONE gets it. From The Detroit News.com.
Senator wants to kill program that funded Fisker loans
- David Shepardson
Can’t make money selling CARS, so sell your “carbon credits” instead. The ONLY thing keeping this joke afloat.
Washington —A Republican senator on Wednesday proposed killing funding for a stalled federal loan program meant to develop fuel-efficient technology. His action came a day after the Energy Department said it will auction off its unpaid $168 million loan to defunct electric vehicle manufacturer Fisker Automotive Inc. — probably at a significant loss to taxpayers.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, proposed an amendment to end the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. It’s not clear if he will get a vote.
Thune said the amendment would “permanently end the ATVM program and save taxpayers from paying for more of President Obama’s bad green-energy bets.”
Created by Congress in 2007, the program hasn’t made a new loan since March 2011, even though it still has more than $16 billion unspent.
Last month, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told The Detroit News that the agency was considering revising lending criteria and seeking a new round of loan requests. But Moniz said Monday that the Energy Department — which had initially received more than 100 applications for loans in 2008 and 2009 — is not actively considering any applications for retooling loans.
The loan program came under scrutiny after two of five companies that received loans halted production.
On Tuesday, the Energy Department said it would auction in early October its $168 million outstanding loan in Fisker Automotive Inc., the electric vehicle start-up that halted production in July 2012. The Energy Department acknowledged it had considered proposals to sell the company, but none would have assured taxpayers won’t lose money.
Earlier this month, the Energy Department sold its unpaid $50 million loan to Allen Park-based VPG to AM General for $3 million; the company agreed to acquire VPG’s MV-1 wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Taxpayers lost about $42 million on that sale.
The program gave preference for low-cost government loans to established automakers to retool older plants to build advanced vehicles, but also allowed startup automakers to take part. The Energy Department has awarded less than $9 billion for auto plant retooling.
Many companies, including General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, abandoned their requests for loans after years of talks with the department.
But other loans have performed well: $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Co.; $1.4 billion to Nissan Motor Co.; and $465 million to EV startup Tesla Motors, which in May paid off its loans nine years early.
Any bets on whether or not this NEEDED shot of fiscal sanity passes? Given the asshats in the Senate, and the worthless RINO’s of BOTH chambers, I have my doubts.
Now I saw this item as a positive story, but, since it DID come out of Detroit, THEY aren’t too happy about it. Hence, the last paragraph: “But other loans have performed well: $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Co.; $1.4 billion to Nissan Motor Co.; and $465 million to EV startup Tesla Motors, which in May paid off its loans nine years early.” I noticed the attempt to soft-soap the FACT that the taxpayers ONLY “lost” $95 million between TWO firms. While the “loans are performing well”, I see NO mention of the Ford loan, nor Nissan, having been paid off. And, just WHERE is the “return” to taxpayers? Simple. THERE IS NONE.
I sure hope Thune’s bill passes. About time, nay, PAST time to end the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. Or as I call it, the automakers’ ATM program. THAT is more like WHAT it is being used for.