Obama Administration Heralds Green Investments as ‘Progressing and Succeeding’

Fred Lucas and Eric Scheiner | May 29, 2012 | 3:54pm EDT
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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (AP Photo/Caroyn Kaster(

(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration’s investments in clean energy include a number of successes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney asserted Tuesday. However, a review of the federally subsidized green companies finds that most have either filed for bankruptcy or made massive layoffs.

Carney responded to a question about criticism from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney regarding the $535 million Department of Energy loan to the politically connected Solyndra solar panel firm that filed for bankruptcy last fall before being raided by the FBI.

“I think the program, as created under the Bush administration and pursued by this administration, has always acknowledged that not every company invested in would succeed,” Carney said. “That is why things like that needed investment in order to scale up to allow them to grow and succeed.

“The portfolio as I understand it contains a number of companies that are progressing and succeeding. Again, if the suggestion is United States should wash its hands of these investments, I think you will all need to assess that for what it means, which means the Chinese can have these, the Europeans, the Indians and the Brazilians can have these industries,” he added.

A review by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, found that 19 of the companies that received loans or grants by the Obama administration have filed for bankruptcy or are in the process of doing so.

These include Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, Solyndra, Beacon Power, which got $43 million; AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy, Nevada Geothermal, which received $98.5 million; SunPower, which got $1.5 billion from the government; First Solar, which received $1.46 billion from the federal government; Babcock & Brown, an Australian company which received $178 million from the administration; Ener1, a subsidiary EnerDel that received $118.5 million; Amonix, which received $5.9 million; The National Renewable Energy Lab; Fisker Automotive; Abound Solar, which received $400 million; Solar Trust of America; A123 Systems, which received $279 million; Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, which received $6 million; Johnson Controls, which received $299 million; and Schneider Electric, which received $86 million.

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Obama has attacked Romney for his work with venture capitalist firm Bain Capital, which invested private dollars in companies. Romney has responded by criticizing the Obama administration for investing tax dollars in companies that have failed.

“I would simply say what we’ve said all along, which is this president is committed to the proposition that we will not cede the industries of the future to the Chinese, to the Europeans, to the Brazilians or the Indians or any other nation,” Carney said in defense of green energy.

“Clean tech industries will continue to grow. And some, apparently, in this country, are willing to see those industries developed and the jobs created within those industries created in other countries than the United States. The president of the United States, the current president, President Obama, refuses to allow that to happen.”

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