President Obama wants more money to continue “Betting on America,” as his current bus tour was unfortunately dubbed, but his past bets haven’t been paying off very well. In fact, he’s well past the point where he should have been bounced out of the casino, to nurse his hangover at a local café, while bending the ears of his unfortunate waitress with stories of how one more bet would have brought the big payoff he blew the kids’ college funds chasing.
The Obama Administration is ready to roll more snake eyes on green energy, as the Washington Times reports that Nevada Geothermal Power – where the Department of Energy dumped $98.5 million in loan guarantees – teeters on the edge of insolvency, with company auditors questioning whether it can remain in business much longer.
“Much like Solyndra LLC, a California solar-panel manufacturer with a $535 million federal loan guarantee that went bankrupt,” revealed internal audits studied by the Times, “Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) has incurred $98 million in net losses over the past several years, has substantial debts and does not generate enough cash from its current operations after debt-service costs.” This generated “material uncertainties” which “cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
Of course, the usual suspects assured us Nevada Geothermal Power was a brilliant “investment” of taxpayer dollars. Nevada Senator and Majority Leader Harry Reid “predicted in 2010 that NGP would ‘put Nevadans to work’ and declared that Nevada was the ‘Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy,’” as the Times recalls, while Energy Secretary Steven Chu was excited by the opportunity for the Administration to demonstrate “its commitment to geothermal power to achieve the nation’s clean energy goals.”
House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa expressed some concerns about plowing so much taxpayer money into “a company with well-established financial problems,” but the Obama Administration wasn’t about to let any fiscally responsible killjoys pry the dice from their hands before they took a few more million-dollar throws. NPG had a junk bond rating at the time.
Has the Department of Energy learned anything from its failures? You wish! The Heritage Foundation brings us news of a new $25 million award to a French company, Soitec Solar, which is supposed to build a “solar production facility in San Diego, CA.” Soitec isn’t quite trembling on the edge of bankruptcy, but they did lose $70 million last year, and their solar division is “particularly troubled financially,” losing $2.44 for every dollar in sales it earned.
Hey, when taxpayers are covering all your losses, you don’t have to stop gambling just because solar craps didn’t pan out. You can always switch to solar baccarat, and then distract angry taxpayers with some more bleating about “outsourcing” if your French subsidies fail to create the promised jobs in California.