The good news: One recipient of Barack Obama’s green-jobs stimulus subsidies figured out how not to lose $529 million in taxpayer dollars. Even better news: The funds appear to have actually created manufacturing jobs. The bad news: It’s going to be one long commute for American workers to clock in at the plant:
With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.
Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.
“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”
Yes, the car is named the Karma, in what can only be called delicious irony. Not so delicious are the car company’s connections, and its performance. Want to guess what famous name is behind Fisker? Surprise, surprise: it’s Al Gore, whose venture capital firm invested heavily in Fisker, an investment that got quite a boost from taxpayer dollars.
If that sounds familiar, just do a search on this site for “George Kaiser.” Once again, a taxpayer-funded loan guarantee ends up benefiting the commercial venture of a man with deep political connections to the Democratic Party and/or Barack Obama. What a coincidence!
And just like Solyndra, the company’s performance doesn’t exactly produce confidence that taxpayers won’t lose money on Fisker or Tesla, who also got a hefty loan subsidy:
An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News that will air on “Good Morning America” found that the DOE’s bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded. Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured and only two delivered to customers’ driveways, including one to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio. Tesla’s SEC filings reveal the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.
Well, at least Leonardo DiCaprio got his car, and Al Gore got his tax subsidy. Oh, yes — and a few Finns got a job. After all, weren’t those the ultimate goals of spending $38.6 billion on Obama’s green-tech subsidies?