Oh, goody: More DOE green-energy “investments” on the way

posted at 11:21 am on June 13, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Tuesday, the Department of Energy announced that it is instituting yet another round of clean-energy “investments” that they believe will help to spur the economy to new and amazing competitive heights. Oh, DOE, you really are too magnanimous to so wisely spend our money for us on things us backwards simpletons won’t invest in by ourselves. …No, really, you’re too magnanimous (h/t the Foundry).

As part of the Obama Administration’s blueprint for an American economy built to last, the Energy Department today announced new investments that support American leadership and global competiveness in manufacturing. The Energy Department awarded more than $54 million – leveraging approximately an additional $17 million in cost share from the private sector – for 13 projects across the country to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs. These projects will develop cutting-edge manufacturing tools, techniques, and processes that will be able to save companies money by reducing the energy needed to power their facilities. These projects are a part of the Administration’s strategy for investing in emerging technologies that create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. companies in today’s global markets.

“By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama’s blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and skills for American workers,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: ‘Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.’ The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water.”

[Shakes head dolefully.] Please, Obama administration — just stop already. I don’t care that it’s “only” $54 million dollars (the failed solar company Solyndra received a loan guarantee of more than half a billion dollars from Obama’s Department of Energy); we simply cannot afford any more of these government-funded failures.

How many government “investments” and subsequent losses are we expected to endure before the DOE understands that the federal government is always and necessarily ill-suited to determine what projects are worthy of all of this “free money”? Because the government isn’t just concerned with making a profit — bureaucrats are concerned with good politics, and that’s bad. Their primary motivation isn’t getting a return on their (our!) investment, it’s wishful thinking about the way they think the world should work. If you’re not all that concerned about getting your money back, you’re not going to be super-careful with where you put that money in the first place.

Businesses already want to save money, innovate, and increase efficiency. If these technological endeavors were really good ideas that would improve these companies’ bottom line and enhance their competitive edge, they’d be doing them on their own. The fact that they need government money to get these projects going should provide a pretty significant hint about the wisdom of these so-called “investments.”

Here’s a nice kicker. Behold, the projects our esteemed, selfless bureaucrats selected for these “awards”:

  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. – Allentown, PA - $1,200,000
  • American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) – Salt Lake City, UT - $7,120,000
  • Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC – Rochester, NY - $3,700,000
  • General Motors LLC – Warren, MI - $2,672,124
  • Lyondell Chemical Company – Newtown Square, PA - $4,500,000
  • MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. – St. Peters, MO - $3,680,000
  • MIT – Cambridge, MA - $1,000,000
  • PolyPlus Battery Company – Berkeley, CA - $8,999,920
  • Research Triangle Institute – Research Triangle Park, NC - $4,800,000
  • Teledyne Scientific and Imaging – Thousand Oaks, CA - $2,110,000
  • The Dow Chemical Company – Midland, MI - $9,000,000
  • The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah - $1,460,285
  • Third Wave Systems, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN - $4,069,882

Hey, remember in 2009, when General Motors got a huge bailout from us taxpayers?

In addition to the more than $50 billion given to General Motors in the bailout, the Obama administration quietly snuck in a special tax break for GM, which allows the company to write off approximately $45 billion in post-bankruptcy losses against post-bankruptcy profits.

The result? In 2011, GM paid nothing in federal income taxes despite claiming record profits of $7.6 billion, the “highest profits in the 100 year history of that company” according to President Obama.

In fact, that’s not quite right. GM paid a tax rate of negative 1.5% on its record profits – less than nothing.

Crony capitalism, thy name is Obama.

It’s kind of funny that one of President Obama’s new favorite taglines is some variant of “Romney economics: They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now.” One definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and these Obamanomics definitely qualify as insane.


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Ah, Chu!

KS Rex on June 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Please. Make. It. Stop.

rcpjr on June 13, 2012 at 11:24 AM

An incentive for BIG GREEN campaign donations.

shick on June 13, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Hey, did you know Steven Chu is an awesome brilliant Nobel Laureate and stuff??? So you know his plan has gotta work.

Maybe this time, anyway.

Cicero43 on June 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

“Clean energy” successfully cleans out the taxpayers, what’s the issue?

NoDonkey on June 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Let ‘em keep digging until they find November.

Christian Conservative on June 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Desperately buying votes now, with OUR money!

ornery_independent on June 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Insane in the membrane

cmsinaz on June 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Gotta spend like crazy, in case they lose the election. If they win? God help us…there will be nothing to slow the disaster down.

kirkill on June 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

This is about as great as the green stimulus you would get from drinking too many Special Exports.

Bishop on June 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Congress needs to have any future Energy so-called loans or loan guarantees FROZEN. The taxpayers demand they stop.

Amazingoly on June 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

How many government “investments” and subsequent losses are we expected to endure before the DOE understands that the federal government is always and necessarily ill-suited to determine what projects are worthy of all of this “free money”?

The “BigLie” is that these “investments” are supposed to promote growth or create jobs because to do either would be to reward capitalism.

The truth? This is looting from the future to reward Democrat campaign contributors. Thousands will get you millions in tax-debt dollars, hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions will get you Billions in tax-debt dollar contracts. Or… it will get your Republican competitors raided, like Gibson, or closed, like all those oil drillers or car dealers.

DANEgerus on June 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

When you hear government officials using any of the following words, hide your wallet:

1. Investment
2. Community
3. Health
4. Green
5. Fairness
6. Reform
7. Program
8. Justice
9. Seniors
10.Law

Who am I kidding? Might as well add “the” into the mix as well.

Borgcube on June 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. – Allentown, PA – $1,200,000
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) – Salt Lake City, UT – $7,120,000
Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC – Rochester, NY – $3,700,000
General Motors LLC – Warren, MI – $2,672,124
Lyondell Chemical Company – Newtown Square, PA – $4,500,000
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. – St. Peters, MO – $3,680,000
MIT – Cambridge, MA – $1,000,000
PolyPlus Battery Company – Berkeley, CA – $8,999,920
Research Triangle Institute – Research Triangle Park, NC – $4,800,000
Teledyne Scientific and Imaging – Thousand Oaks, CA – $2,110,000
The Dow Chemical Company – Midland, MI – $9,000,000
The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah – $1,460,285
Third Wave Systems, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN – $4,069,882

Soooo…..SINCE America has enough COAL to provide electrical power for America for the next several centuries, WHICH ONE OF THESE MONEY DROPS GOES TO COAL TECHNOLOGY?????

Oh I see….CLEAN COAL is the Obama Administrations “boogeyman” ..no money to make coal even cleaner…..coal is bad…wind and solar is good…what a load of Obama EPA DOE BS…:(

BigSven on June 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Give me the money. I’ll bet with about 40 million dollars I could come up with ways to save the environment.

bandutski on June 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

When you hear government officials using any of the following words, hide your wallet:

1. Investment
2. Community
3. Health
4. Green
5. Fairness
6. Reform
7. Program
8. Justice
9. Seniors
10.Law

Who am I kidding? Might as well add “the” into the mix as well.

Borgcube on June 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Add to that list:
Teachers
Firefighters
Police

oceansidecon on June 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Air Products and Chemicals, Dow Chemical, Teledyne? These are all profitable multi-billion-dollar corporations that could easily afford to spend $1.2 to $9 million of their own money on R&D of some new product or process that could save energy for themselves or their clients.

I have no problem with any of these 1-percenters making billions selling thingamajigs for their furnaces, but why do they need OUR taxpayer money?

Steve Z on June 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Hmmm…plot those project awards against an electoral map.

13 awards. Two go to PA, two to MI, one NC, one MN, one MO. More than 50% to battleground states.

Or plot against union-controlled or academic vs. pure capitalism. My guess is > 50% there as well.

Uncledave on June 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

The looting continues.

magicbeans on June 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I am thiiiiiis close to going up on my roof and start running in circles while pulling at my hair and screeching like a madwoman.

Not out of fear, but at the sheer idiocy of this administration.

Somebody talk me down.

*whimpers* please

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Hmmm…plot those project awards against an electoral map.

13 awards. Two go to PA, two to MI, one NC, one MN, one MO. More than 50% to battleground states.

Or plot against union-controlled or academic vs. pure capitalism. My guess is > 50% there as well.

Uncledave on June 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Correct.

Plus, these grant produce nothing. Zilch.

Not one new piece of solar, battery, or energy tech will come from this theft. It’s all just a scam.

tetriskid on June 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Not out of fear, but at the sheer idiocy of this administration.

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

On second thought, the sheer idiocy of this administration is something to be feared.

Flora Duh on June 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

The looting continues.

magicbeans on June 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Disgusting.

We all know this has absolutely NOTHING to do with green energy or creating a single middle class job. It’s all about paybacks to 0bama’s supporters.

The “green energy” charade is just a way to get the ignorant, unwashed masses to buy into it.

UltimateBob on June 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Check out Insty for the story of the Syracuse electric car charging outfit that got a huge grant from the feds and then installed a bunch of chargers (the wrong type, provided by another grant winner) for all 3,yes 3, of Syracuse’s electric cars.

Oh, and the outfit is owned by a couple Dem Party activists.

Fraud and waste in government contracts? The deuce, I say!

PattyJ on June 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

This is what you get when the Senate doesn’t pass a budget for over 3 years. Has anyone of our illustrious Republican Senators figured this out yet?

bflat879 on June 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Reminds me of the dot.com bubble when any dork who could make a web banner was having money thrown at him in an effort to woo him onto a companies IT team.

Just tell some government chair-warmer that your company makes a “green” product and they will set a land speed record giving you a loan guarantee.

Bishop on June 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Isn’t the obvious question who approved/where did the DOE find $54 million to cut checks?

hillsoftx on June 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Picking winners and losers…….investing in the latter.

antipc on June 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I see two chemical companies on the list. DOE must have funded them to develop a new compound called hopium to add to the water supply. That way we would all be happy and believe in unicorn f*rts.

chemman on June 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

If we want to really make UU manufacturing more competitive via reduced energy costs the way to do it is to get the EPA, Interir Dept, and DOE out of the way of US energy production.

Energy costs aren’t high and rising because energy sources are expensive, they’re costly because of the Greens’ nonstop assault on our energy industries.

You can only wring so much efficiency out of a machine before you get to a point where it just needs more energy.

Charlemagne on June 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I’m so glad to see most of these funds are going to small, efficient startups that could not otherwise find funding.

/sarc

Over50 on June 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Let me play the ObamaChu game with you Erika.

Have you won a Nobel Peace Prize? Did you received a B+ and A- on YOUR performance? We didn’t think so. So let us explain how this works – Shut Up!

Omnipotently yours,

President Algae Obama and Secretary High-Speed Chu-Chu

PS – If these investments fail – it is because Bush was an idiot and Republicans hate us and want to see us fail. And, Oh yeah — Europe.

NeoDawg on June 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I’m confused. One of Obama’s talking points is that GM is a success story. The company claims to have recorded a $7.6 billion profit last year. That’s billion, with a B.

So, why precisely does this shining example of Obama’s fantabulous business prowess need more taxpayer cash?

obladioblada on June 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

The Energy Department awarded more than $54 million – leveraging approximately an additional $17 million in cost share from the private sector – for 13 projects across the country to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs. These projects will develop cutting-edge manufacturing tools, techniques, and processes that will be able to save companies money by reducing the energy needed to power their facilities.

Innovations like that often used to (and still do to some extent) come from government investment, but not Obama’s kind of government investment. They came from the government researching something for a particular project (primarily through contracted private companies), which would lead to innovations that these companies would use for private sector endeavours. So many of the technologies we use today came from developments by NASA or the Dept of Defense and it’s contractors as they researched new and more efficient ways of putting men in space or defending the country.

The point being, we don’t need government to fund innovations directly for the private sector. Just fund ambitious projects for the things government should do, like our national defense, and the innovations developed for that will make their way to the private sector all on their own.

gravityman on June 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

When you hear government officials using any of the following words, hide your wallet:

1. Investment
2. Community
3. Health
4. Green
5. Fairness
6. Reform
7. Program
8. Justice
9. Seniors
10.Law

Who am I kidding? Might as well add “the” into the mix as well.

Borgcube on June 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Add to that list:
Teachers
Firefighters
Police

oceansidecon on June 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

The list would be incomplete without…
Infrastructure
Minority
Children

Oh well, you’re so right – just add “the” to the list.

Archivarix on June 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Tangentially, the Delphi salaried employees who lost their pensions when Obama mutilated non-union employees and dealerships to pay off the unions are proceeding in their fight against the feds. Some Congressional oversight would be helpful in their pursuit of justice.

The feds took 30-70% of the non-union workers’ pensions, but pensions for union workers were untouched.

Some of the 20,000-plus salaried retirees and pension participants, including many of the roughly 1,500 retired salaried workers from Delphi Packard in the Warren area, saw pensions cut 30 percent to 70 percent in the government-led bankruptcy of General Motors Co. in the summer of 2009.

GM, which received a loan and taxpayer bailout of nearly $50 billion, “topped up,” or made whole, hourly workers’ pensions.

obladioblada on June 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Clinton’s word was the definition of “IS”

Obama’s word is the definition of “STEALING”

It IS going to take a complete and total tax revolt to stop these madmen, or civil war…. in either case it is the takers against the unwilling givers. Unconstitutional fiscal RAPE!

ActinUpinTexas on June 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I see two chemical companies on the list. DOE must have funded them to develop a new compound called hopium to add to the water supply. That way we would all be happy and believe in unicorn f*rts.

chemman on June 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

They will be developing soma.

Archivarix on June 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Please don’t call it “General Motors”. That company was stolen by the Obama Administration who “bailed it out” for the benefit of the UAW, in the process voiding established bankruptcy law and screwing bond and stock holders of all sizes throughout the country. “Government Motors” is a better name.

I think it is the time for the Department of Energy to get reduced down to only handling civilian nuclear energy and nothing else: it’s in the way and wasting OUR money.

Kevin K. on June 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

..these stupid mother f%&@#ing sons of b*!@#es are not embarrassed about anything…they are @#$+!!!!
Why is Chew Choo still there?

KOOLAID2 on June 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Attention Lefties:

This massive amount of money that is being shoveled to these organizations could have instead been used to help the poor and needy. Our government is in dire financial straits, every hard-earned tax dollar is precious, no?

Who “deserves” help more, MIT or an impoverished single mother in a terrible neighborhood, struggling to make ends meet.

And yet, you can’t vote for Obama fast enough. Sad.

visions on June 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

if the liberals would stop exhaling, and farting, by way of dying, the world will be saved!

kirkill on June 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Too bad you can’t generate electricity from liberal stupidity. It’s abundant. Not too cheap, but there’s a lot of it.

trigon on June 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

i read a piece the other day about the grim future of europe in terms of energy….but don’t remember the source.

basically, advanced civilization all over the world is turning out the lights….and enforcing a regime of energy scarcity.

it is who they are. Kings and Emperors have done all kinds of stupid things in the past…and their people have always been hurt. Of course our Founders knew all about that didn’t they?

r keller on June 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

We can’t get rid of these geniuses – the “czars”, the appointees – the lot of them – fast enough.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 13, 2012 at 1:04 PM

When you hear government officials using any of the following words, hide your wallet:

Borgcube on June 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Simplified it for you.

shick on June 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

The secret to the Progressives clean energy program is to get the country so far in debt that all of our money will need to go to the government and none of us peasants will be able to afford to drive, heat our homes…etc. When her staff tell of our peril, Michelle O will simply say, “Let them drive Volts!”

Deano1952 on June 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

i read a piece the other day about the grim future of europe in terms of energy….but don’t remember the source.

basically, advanced civilization all over the world is turning out the lights….and enforcing a regime of energy scarcity.

it is who they are. Kings and Emperors have done all kinds of stupid things in the past…and their people have always been hurt. Of course our Founders knew all about that didn’t they?

r keller on June 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Cheap energy fuels the capitalist economy. Those that hate capitalism know that they can destroy it by destroying cheap energy.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM

It matters not how many degrees are on CHEWIES
Thermometer, This guy is overpaid and undereducated

Hipshot on June 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Question:
“How many government “investments” and subsequent losses are we expected to endure before the DOE understands that the federal government is always and necessarily ill-suited to determine what projects are worthy of all of this “free money”?”

Answer:
There is no limit on the number. They will continue until Obama is out office and can no longer use taxpayer money to reward his friends and supporters.

Nomas on June 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

This is what you get when the Senate doesn’t pass a budget for over 3 years. Has anyone of our illustrious Republican Senators figured this out yet?

Reposted from another thread, because we need to get more people to realize this:

The “2009 stimulus” was not a one-time $873 BILLION+ outlay. The government has been spending this amount over and above its normal amounts every year since then. The 2009 spending, including the stimulus, has been used as the baseline (starting point) for continuing resolutions in 2010, 2011, and again now in 2012. Every year since 2009 has included the $873 BILLION+ in its overall spending! No wonder Harry Reid doesn’t want to pass a real budget.

Post this everywhere you can. Too few people realize we’re spending another stimulus every year.

LooseCannon on June 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM

“Crony” is correct, Capitalism is business 2 business or individual 2 individual, if it’s Federal Big Government it’s Not Capitalism it’s Socialism

mathewsjw on June 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Memo to Steven Chu:

When you keep doing the same things expecting different results, you’re CRAZY!

End of Memo

CC: Barry “The One” Obama
Harry “Snidley Whiplash” Reid
San Fran “Natasha” Nan

timberline on June 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

One of the departments Ron Paul would eliminate. But I’m sure the lib Romney will take care of it though.

air_up_there on June 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Our feckless leaders in Congress are complicit in this gross misuse of taxpayer funds.

insidiator on June 14, 2012 at 8:19 AM

What? There are still some campaign bundlers who haven’t been paid off yet?

Mr Galt on June 14, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Someone needs to explain to these people that Ford Motor Co. didn’t take a penny in the form of a handout and correct me if I’m wrong, but they’re doing great, the economy notwithstanding.

RMCS_USN on June 14, 2012 at 11:54 AM