U.S. taxpayer subsidies creating foreign green jobs

First, there was Solyndra’s $535M taxpayer funded bankruptcy. The solar boondoggles continued with Sunpower’s $1.24B and First Solar’s $3.07B loan guarantees, and now the Department of Energy is defending its taxpayer subsidized $529M loan to a startup electric car company that will be building its first line of vehicles in Finland.

One would think Obama’s DOE might have learned the folly of using our tax dollars for risky venture capital investments to pay for potential green jobs, but apparently not. So far, most of the permanent manufacturing jobs are being created in other countries, with only future promises of American jobs if the companies can avoid bankruptcy.


The companies are developing utility-scale photovoltaic power projects in California and Arizona. Most of the jobs, though, will fade once the construction work is done, … and most of the sustainable employment will come in Asia, where the companies’ solar equipment is manufactured.

The latest taxpayer subsidy , as reported by ABC News  Thursday, is to Fisker Automotive which has decided to outsource the job of assembling its new electric Karma sports car to Finland. Its reason for choosing Finland, was that the U.S. lacked facilities capable of doing the work.


Fisker is more than a year behind rolling out its $97,000 luxury vehicle bankrolled in part with DOE money. While more are promised soon, just 40 of its Karma cars (below) have been manufactured and only two delivered to customers’ driveways, including one to movie star Leonardo DiCaprio.

Vice President Joe Biden had touted the loan to the company as bringing new manufacturing jobs to Americans. Instead, about 500 jobs will go to a Finish company called Valmet Automotive.

The DOE insists that the money was only spent in the U.S. and would not be spent on an overseas operation

A second politically connected California electric car company, Telsa, helped with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from the DOE

…has SEC filings revealing the start-up has lost money every quarter. And while its federal funding is intended to help it mass produce a new $57,400 Model S sedan, the company has no experience in a project so vast.

All these projects should be examined by the FBI and by the congressional committee that has launched investigations into Solyndra’s collapse, amid questions about how the Energy Department allocates funds in its program to encourage green energy projects.

The investigations should center on the fact that Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a long time Silicon Valley venture-capital firm, which has former presidential candidate Al Gore as a partner.

Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.



  1. It’s not that the “U.S. lacked facilities capable of doing the work”. We now have hundreds of closed factories (buildings) that could support it. Rather the labor (burden) rates are too high. And then you have the “business friendly” NLRB that would wreck it all like they did with Boeing trying to expand. This is no longer the fat and happy 80’s.

  2. Milton Waddams

    Solyndra was $535 Million, not Billion.

    • Ted Biondo

      Milton you are right. But with our liberal government deficits and programs, one gets addicted to the “B” word.

  3. Solyndra isn’t the only one……

    A brand-new report from Texas Watchdog, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative group, sheds inconvenient light on Obama’s $5 billion stimulus-funded Weatherization Assistance Program. In Texas alone, the $327 million program has spent more than $226,000 on each of the 1,041 jobs the program is claimed to have created or saved.

    Intended to “green” low-income homes, at least three of the original participating organizations have been shut down due to chronic mismanagement, fraud allegations and shoddy workmanship. Baylor University economist Earl Grinols summed up: “First, it is not an appropriate government function to provide weatherization of private homes. Second, even viewed as a stimulus measure, it is not very effective as a stimulus based on cost-per-job, and third, it appears not to be well-managed.”

    Nearly 31 months after Porkulus One was signed, the Texas housing agency still hasn’t spent $91.6 million in allocated weatherization/green construction funds. Millions cannot be accounted for by auditors and inspectors.

    Read the rest at: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46176

    Also see: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/585123/201109161838/The-Spreading-Green-Jobs-Scam.htm
    and: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view.bg?articleid=1358998&pos=breaking

  4. Adam Faber

    Ted, a government the size of the United States’ is always going to have expenditures in the billions regardless of which party is in power. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars initiated during a Republican administration cost billions. Your comment about “the ‘B’ word” and a purported connection to liberals is foolish and petty.

    These are interesting stories that you posted and I suspect this happens a lot outside of green jobs, which is really unfortunate.

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