Big bonuses to execs at “clean energy” companies that got millions in taxpayer dollars only to go bankrupt? Don’t worry — Joe Biden the Stimulus Sheriff will get to the bottom of this!

Wait, he is at the bottom of this:

President Obama’s Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.

Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March 2010, the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to progress made on the $43 million energy loan, Securities and Exchange Commission records show. Last October, Beacon Power filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems, landed a $118.5 million energy grant in August 2009. About one-and-a-half years later, Vice President Joe Biden toured a company plant in Indiana and heralded its taxpayer-supported expansion as one of the “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.”

Two months after Biden’s visit, EnerDel corporate parent Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives — including $450,000 to then-CEO Charles Gassenheimer, who led Biden on the tour. This January, Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

At least two other firms that benefited from Energy Department funding — one a $500,000 grant, the other a $535 million loan guarantee — handed out hefty payouts to executives and later went bankrupt.

A Department of Energy spokesperson has the laugh of the day:

“We take our role as stewards of taxpayer dollars very seriously, and as such, we will make clear to loan recipients our view that funds should not be directed toward executive bonuses when the rest of the company is facing financial difficulty.”

The DoE’s vetting and rules process was so stringent that they didn’t make it clear to these companies at the outset that the taxpayer money they were getting was not to go straight into exec bonuses? I can’t believe I ever had a doubt about the intensity of Steven Chu’s due diligence.

Comments

15 Responses to “Examining the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Loans Golden Parachute Program”

  1. Dexter_Alarius on March 6th, 2012 5:19 pm

    "…the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to progress made on the $43 million energy loan"

    They got bonuses for making progress on a loan? Shouldn't bonuses go for… oh, I don't know… progress on technology? Or, efficiency? Or, increasing profits?

    Oh, wait. The loan made the bonuses POSSIBLE! Got it.

  2. Doug on March 6th, 2012 5:26 pm

    Why not cut out the middle man and just stop pretending to be dealing in batteries and solar panels and just loan the companies money so their "job" can be paying back the loan? That's what it sounds like the deal was for these people.

  3. Truesoldier__ on March 6th, 2012 5:28 pm

    Now, now Doug. They had to pay these executives their bonuses. How else do you expect them to have the money to donate to Obama's re-election fund?

  4. Dexter_Alarius on March 6th, 2012 5:32 pm

    I think THIS is the whole purpose of this money shuffle. Obama is laundering taxpayer money through these companies and into his campaign coffers.

  5. clu seatoe on March 6th, 2012 5:42 pm

    The systematic looting of the national treasury by Zero and his cadre.

    Isn’t this sort of thing one of those “High crimes and Misdemeanors” that the Constitution talks about and that King George and his people were doing during America's national formation and creating the desire for the big break from England?

  6. Truesoldier__ on March 6th, 2012 5:45 pm

    Bingo! Of course it is next to impossible to prove as in some cases donors to certain groups do not always have to release their donor lists. Give the execs huge bonuses have them anonomysly donate to these groups and now you can bank roll nearly anything you want on the taxpayer dime without any COngressional oversight.

  7. clu seatoe on March 6th, 2012 6:08 pm

    One of the problems here is that the Republicans won’t do anything about it because they see how easy it is and that there is no “gatekeeper of honor” on the national treasury or in the Justice Dept. and so they are satisfied with their current cuts “crumbs from the masters table” to don’t make waves so the Republicans are going to do the same thing when they get back in power.

    That’s why we see the “big” four fighting so hard and sparing no expense financially or verbally to get in the chair and not talking about it regardless of their pretense of religion for pretense never deterred anybody.

    Zero and his female, case in point.

  8. Green Firms Get Fed Cash, Give Execs Bonuses, Fail - Christian Forums on March 6th, 2012 7:33 pm

    [...] "Examining the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Loans Golden Parachute Program" Examining the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Loans Golden Parachute Program : The Powers … snippet: The DoE’s vetting and rules process was so stringent that they didn’t make [...]

  9. SignPainterGuy on March 6th, 2012 8:56 pm

    Gee whiz, guys, where does all this cynicism and distrust come from ? I just can`t imagine ! It`s not like they`ve established a 3 yr+ track record ! NO, no pattern of mis-behavior or anything !

    /sarc, tongue in cheek, wink, wink – nudge, nudge !

  10. Pasadena Phil on March 6th, 2012 9:36 pm

    "…loan the companies money so their "job" can be paying back the loan? "

    That's exactly what central banks are for. That is the Bernanke strategy for saving the free world.

  11. backwoodsconsr on March 6th, 2012 9:51 pm

    Wow. You almost said that with a straight face.

  12. Marshall_Will on March 6th, 2012 10:10 pm

    Now I'm SURE… no one really reads my posts. I've called this nothing but a brazen money laundering scheme since these stories first broke!

    To me, it was altogether too apparent. Then again ( I grew up in Chicago! )

  13. SignPainterGuy on March 6th, 2012 10:11 pm

    But my fingers weren`t ! ;-)

  14. SignPainterGuy on March 6th, 2012 10:13 pm

    What ? Did you say something ? ;-)

  15. Marshall_Will on March 6th, 2012 10:18 pm

    Clu,

    Spot on. The GOP sees a great many things they secretly admire about Teh One's approach to total domination. Rather than fight for us, they're taking notes.

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