Great news: Obama green-tech stimulus recipient might end up in China’s hands

posted at 9:41 am on December 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Two months after Barack Obama’s green-tech stimulus recipient A123 went bankrupt, losing close to $135 million in federal grants, taxpayers may finally have some good news. When A123 goes on the auction block, a buyer is already poised to snatch up the firm and perhaps provide a few cents on the dollar from Obama’s investment.  The bad news?  The buyer is a firm in China, and that has some national-security implications:

A bankrupt battery manufacturer that was a cornerstone of President Obama’s effort to make the United States a global leader in clean-energy technology could end up in the hands of a Chinese company when it goes on the auction block Thursday.

Congressional Republicans call the company, A123 Systems, which received $133 million in federal stimulus grants, a textbook case of how the Obama administration wasted taxpayer money trying to nurture new industries. Administration officials say the stimulus money was used to build a new manufacturing facility in Michigan that could remain open under new owners, even if they turn out to be foreign.

The company also has a Pentagon contract classified as “secret,” and Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-S.D.) are waving red flags. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, they called for a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an inter-agency group that reviews transactions that might harm national security. Treasury oversees CFIUS.

The bidding war will come down to Wanxiang, which makes auto parts in China, and Johnson Controls.  Johnson Controls has already put pressure on the White House to tip the scales in their direction, claiming that the stimulus investment requires the sale to be approved by the Obama administration.  If so, that’s another good reason for Americans to demand that the federal government get out of the venture-capital business.

The key problem for the White House is the central role that A123 played in its effort to push-start the electric-vehicle industry, an analogy I chose deliberately.  Obama needed to make battery production radically cheaper to make EV economics work, especially since these cars will need full battery-system replacements in 5-8 years — and that costs as much as a brand-new economy subcompact now.  Instead, A123 couldn’t even make their battery systems work properly at current costs, which has derailed Fisker Automotive’s production plans — which also got millions of dollars from Obama’s stimulus program.

Now we may end up in the position of having American taxpayers fund what little innovation A123 achieved for the purpose of enriching China’s manufacturing sector.  Actually, thanks to the massive deficits incurred by this administration, it might be more accurate to say that China loaned us the money, which means they get the technology and the interest payments.  This is what is known as smart power, I believe.


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these cars will need full battery-system replacements in 5-8 years — and that costs as much as a brand-new economy subcompact

Hahaha… That Obama, he’s such a business genius.

petefrt on December 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Minor point of order – most of the Obama debt financing has come from the Federal Reserve and Japan.

With that said, I’m not surprised Teh SCOAMF is handing money to the Communist-based country that is closest to success.

Steve Eggleston on December 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Wow! Another Obama “success”!

Galt2009 on December 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The admin seems to be selling the notion that we’ll be living in a Star Trek society, where there are no unmet needs.

They know better than the duped masses, though.

It’ll be more like the Matrix, Mr. Anderson.
…or the Bizarro world. But then again, we’re already in the Bizarro world.

The puppetmasters are setting the stage.

freedomfirst on December 6, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Great news: Obama green-tech stimulus recipient might end up in China’s hands

Obama was, is, and like will in the foreseeable future, remain China’s faithful puppet. One has to be willingly blind and deaf to miss the fact. Track each and every decision of his, and you shall see that it directly (and not just by weakening the competition) and positively affects China. I am sure that, if one were inclined to investigate, a lot of his 2008 election haul could be tracked to China.

Archivarix on December 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM

It’s almost as if Bark and his appointees are devoid of even basic economic acumen.

I mean come on, if it all works in theory while pontificating in the Harvard faculty lounge then why won’t it work in the real world? Thank Gaia we dodged that businessman Romney, could you imagine someone like him making decisions? Ugh.

Bishop on December 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Great news: Obama green-tech stimulus recipient might end up in China’s hands

Obama was, is, and like will in the foreseeable future, remain China’s faithful puppet. One has to be willingly blind and deaf to miss the fact. Track each and every decision of his, and you shall see that it directly (and not just by weakening the competition) and positively affects China. I am sure that, if one were inclined to investigate, a lot of his 2008 election haul could be tracked to China.

Archivarix on December 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Perchance I would only trifle slightly in your assertions – it’s not just the Chinese who are invested in the Ocommie’s cause but the rest of the freedom hating world that are salivating at his success.

Although the Chinese appears to be the biggest beneficiaries of what Ocommie has done to us.

As to outright proof of your contention, one only need to see the results of his actions so far.

I keep on asking where are the results of his genius in is his working-over of the economy?

Where are the fruits of his wonderfulness in foreign affairs around the world?

With Egypt being the latest example of his genius so far.

Galt2009 on December 6, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Yep, Barry is an economic genius.

GarandFan on December 6, 2012 at 10:13 AM

It’s almost as if Bark and his appointees are devoid of even basic economic acumen.

I mean come on, if it all works in theory while pontificating in the Harvard faculty lounge then why won’t it work in the real world? Thank Gaia we dodged that businessman Romney, could you imagine someone like him making decisions? Ugh.

Bishop on December 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Well, hasn’t Barry Benghazi been doing wonderful on the economy so far – that should tell you that his theories are right on track.

It’s getting so that his domestic policy successes are outshining his tremendous achievements overseas…

Galt2009 on December 6, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Barry is an economic genius.

GarandFan on December 6, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Yea, this is like pawning Grandma’s ring to pay off your pawn loan.

faraway on December 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM

New polling out: 53% say this is the Congressional Republicans’ fault.

forest on December 6, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Although the Chinese appears to be the biggest beneficiaries of what Ocommie has done to us.

Galt2009 on December 6, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I want to disregard, for now, the indirect benefit Chinese enjoy by weakening their ideological and economic adversary, and point out direct monetary and political gains for China. Let me remind you of the most obvious and memorable agenda items:

— piling up debt payments, to the grand benefit of Chinese budget
— freezing of America’s oil exploration, likely as future collateral for our debt obligations
— war on light bulbs, with China being a major manufacturer of competing items
— push for electric cars, with China being the monopolist supplier of rare-earth battery components
— “carbon credits” hoax, to the benefit of China’s heavy industry

The list can likely go on for pages. Every time I see a particularly ridiculous decree from King Hussein Ogabe, it never fails to benefit Chinese economy.

Archivarix on December 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

awwwwwww.

This will be her first Grammy? Like Beyonce, they will be able to talk Grammy wins. Barack has his Nobel Peace Prize and now Michelle Obama will have her award.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/12/michelle-obama-ellen-degeneres-rachel-maddow-smash-the-voice-coaches-too/

Now both First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton have landed Grammy nominations. Both are up in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio version of their books American Grown (Michelle Obama) and Back To Work: Why We Need Smart Government For A Strong Economy (Bill Clinton).

We don’t need to worry about stuff like industries that fail when we have this wonderful couple ruling us from on high.

Let them spend the money where they think it should be. More wind money? Sure.

More money for algae farms?……oh, you know it. Just spend it wherever you think best.

All hail the God King Barack and the queen Michelle.

PappyD61 on December 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Gee, how “unexpected.”

Oh well, Doctor Chu will come up with another Ponzi by the end of the day, I am sure, to direct even more millions or billions into green energy schemes to try to jump start our National transition from prudence to total insanity.

coldwarrior on December 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Seriously.

If the gop can’t come up with a coherent communicator and a vision different than the Democrats why don’t we all just change parties and forget the Constitution and become Obama worshipers?

PappyD61 on December 6, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Picture perfect example the Dems ability to “invest”.

antipc on December 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Picture perfect example the Dems ability to “invest”.

antipc on December 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Yeah, when it is not their own money.

Even Michael Moore has major investments with Haliburton, Big Oil, evil Wall Street firms and such.

But…if it ain’t their money? Sure…we can always print up some more if the things turns to doo-doo, right?

(Is QE4 or 5 ready to kick off yet?)

coldwarrior on December 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

If the gop can’t come up with a coherent communicator and a vision different than the Democrats why don’t we all just change parties and forget the Constitution and become Obama worshipers?

PappyD61 on December 6, 2012 at 10:32 AM

You can have a brilliant communicator but his (or her) platform will be limited to Internet blogs and occasional Fox News interview. Two things must occur before we stop the gradual shift towards one-party rule:

1) Conservatives MUST create their own media outside their echo-chamber blogosphere, and
2) Conservatives MUST, at least partially, take over the public school system and the academia.

Otherwise, they will die out like ante-alluvial dinosaurs, while the new generation will be readied to hoist red flags and march to The Internationale.

Archivarix on December 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

You can have a brilliant communicator but his (or her) platform will be limited to Internet blogs and occasional Fox News interview. Two things must occur before we stop the gradual shift towards one-party rule:

1) Conservatives MUST create their own media outside their echo-chamber blogosphere, and
2) Conservatives MUST, at least partially, take over the public school system and the academia.

Otherwise, they will die out like ante-alluvial dinosaurs, while the new generation will be readied to hoist red flags and march to The Internationale.

Archivarix on December 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Yup, 100% on the nose.

Galt2009 on December 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

coldwarrior on December 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Guess that’s why Barks new and improved meaning for “investing” only applies to raising taxes.

antipc on December 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

…notice how the MSM is constantly reporting these failing “investments”?

KOOLAID2 on December 6, 2012 at 7:23 PM