In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said this to critics of his lavish green technology initiative:
“I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. “
Instead, battery manufacturers first get financed by double-green government handouts, then they are ceded. Says Reuters:
“A123 Systems Inc on Wednesday became the second U.S. government-backed battery maker this year to go overseas for a lifeline – and it turned to China. Auto parts supplier Wanxiang Group will take a controlling interest and invest $450 million in the Massachusetts-based battery maker, which faced running out of cash by the year-end.
Earlier this year, Ener1 Inc, another battery maker that received a government green technology grant, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the control of Russian investor Boris Zingarevich. New York-based Ener1 is also a joint-venture partner in China with a Wanxiang subsidiary.”
Reuters says the government-supported boondoggle that is now handed to the Chinese for further exploitation was a pipe dream at best, or a giant lie at worst:
“ A123 promised to create 38,000 U.S. jobs, including 5,900 at its own plants. A123 said on Thursday it has 1,300 workers.
Theodore O’Neill, a former equities analyst with Wunderlich Securities, said A123 “built a factory that’s big enough to meet demand that’s probably not going to materialize until 2020 … They built it much larger than the market turned out to need.”
In what appears to be the Fast And Furious of government boondoggles, the battery industry is first propped up with government money, then the technology is sold to China.
What’s more, the enemy already seems to have lost interest in the game. Shortly after the state of the union address, it was reported that China will “put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power” and instead focus on old standbys such as nuclear and shale gas.”
Batteries of course are agnostic to where the juice comes from. Obama’s adversaries are less cavalier. ”Once again it appears the Department of Energy and the Obama administration have failed to secure sensitive taxpayer-funded intellectual property from being transferred to a foreign adversary, which raises serious national security issues,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns. Stearns is a Florida Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.