“I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort – because nobody messes with Joe. I have told each member of my Cabinet as well as mayors and governors across the country that they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar they spend.” – Barack Obama, 2/24/09
Question for President Obama: How are we, the American people, supposed to hold anybody accountable if your Department of Energy won’t tell us who wasted, lost or stole the money?
An audit conducted by the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General was “unable to locate” $500,000 worth of equipment purchased with stimulus money by a recipient of funds distributed through the deparment’s “Advanced Batteries and Hybrid Components Program,” according to an audit report published by the OIG.
The DOE said it would not be “appropriate” to release the name of stimulus-money recipient where the $500,000 worth of equipment could not be located.
The program was given nearly $2 billion in stimulus funds “to support the construction of U.S. based battery and electric drive component
manufacturing plants.” As of June, DOE had “expended” about $1.2 billion of that money and had made grants to “30 for-profit manufacturers,” according to the July 10 audit report.
Would it be “appropriate” then to assume that the recipient in question with the missing half-million is an Obama crony like so many of them seem to be? I know Paul Krugman is probably wondering why I’m making such a big deal out of such an inconsequential amount of money, but still…