At the groundbreaking, Hatch also announced a new proposal to help Raser. “Raser has also been supportive of my recent legislation S. 1617, or the Freedom Act,” Hatch explained, noting that the bill would create “strong tax incentives for plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and for the U.S. manufacture of these vehicles and their technology.”

If that has a whiff of Obamanomics, it’s no wonder — Sen. Barack Obama was Hatch’s original co-sponsor on the Freedom Act.

Raser was already in bad financial shape when the Hatch Plant opened in 2008 (“Raser Technologies: All Talk, No Profits” was the headline at one investment website at the time). The plant struggled, unable to extract enough heat from the ground to produce the power it had promised.

Obama’s stimulus kept Raser afloat for a while. In February 2010, the Treasury Department awarded Raser a $33 million grant to pay off some debt on the Hatch Plant. It wasn’t enough. In April 2011, Raser filed for bankruptcy, and the Hatch Plant is now shuttered.