Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dissembling Dick Lugar and his Green Dream: EnerDel

Real Clear Politics and CBS News: 11 More Solyndras In Obama Energy Program:
CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson takes a look at 11 more Solyndras that were part of Obama's Energy program. Attkisson was one of the original reporters that uncovered the Solyndra scandal.  
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. 
According to CBS News, Beacon Power, a "green energy storage company," recieved $43 million from the government. Standard and Poor's had given the project a rating of "CCC-plus."
No mention of EnerDel or its parent company, Ener1, which was de-listed from the NASDAQ last October:
New York-based Ener1 received a $118.5 million grant to expand its manufacturing operations in Indianapolis, Ind., run by a subsidiary EnerDel, which received a visit from Vice President Joe Biden earlier this year. 
But NASDAQ pulled the firm from trading Friday for failing to file its most recent quarterly report on time. Ener1 also let go of its chairman, Charles Gassenheimer, late last month.

Last November, Richard Mourdock noted that EnerDel was supported by federal stimulus funding:
INDIANAPOLIS (November 3, 2011) – Electric car battery manufacturer EnerDel, which received a $118.5 million federal stimulus grant, was placed on a “watch list” by the DOE earlier this week for being the latest company in serious financial trouble aided by the department. Last Friday, EnerDel’s parent company Ener1 was delisted from the NASDAQ exchange for failing to file a June 30th quarterly report.  Ener1 is controlled by Russian millionaire and timber magnate Boris Zingarevich.  Senator Dick Lugar supported securing the taxpayer-backed loan for the failing battery manufacturer in 2009.
Lugar responded the next day in a manner reminiscent of his Senate colleague John I-was-for-the-war-before-I-was-against-it Kerry:
Lugar opposed the Obama stimulus bill that funded the grant. But Lugar pointed out that once funds were appropriated and the Department of Energy was going to spend the funds, and he was determined that Indiana should not be left out of the competition for creating private sector jobs.
I point that out because Lugar's Senate office press release about the award to EnerDel dissembles--some might even say "lies"--about the source of the funding for this green boondoggle:
The projects, being funded by annual federal appropriations, will focus on improving battery material performance, developing manufacturing processes to increase performance, and decreasing the cost of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries. 
The phrase "annual federal appropriations" implies that the funding EnerDel received was from the annual budget. In fact, EnerDel's funding came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka: "the stimulus bill"). It's not exactly news when a politician distorts the truth, but it's time to retire Dick Lugar and elect Richard Mourdock in his place.

Update: Thanks to Smitty at the OtherMcCain for the link!

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