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In the closing minutes of the presidential debate, Mitt Romney told Obama, “you put $90 billion into — into green jobs. And I — look, I’m all in favor of green energy. $90 billion, that would have — that would have hired 2 million teachers. $90 billion. And these businesses, many of them have gone out of business, I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.”
Half of the companies funded by Obama’s green-tech fund have gone bankrupt … really?
For one, it is very difficult to determine all the companies that have benefited from the fund. Part of the funding went to a smart grid project which saw thousands of smart meters installed around the country. Are all of the energy utilities involved in this work counted? Or how about the companies that produce the smart meters?
Of course the main company that Romney is thinking of, and to which he wishes to direct our attention is Solyndra. Since Solyndra’s bankruptcy the Republicans have focussed a lot of their efforts on the green-tech loans program run by the Department of Energy.
The program has awarded around $34.5 billion in loans to 33 different projects, of which only three, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, and Solyndra, have gone bankrupt.
Romney also attacked with a claim that the loans were being granted to companies that are owned by contributors to the Obama campaign. For example, Solyndra’s largest backer was George Kaiser, a big supporter of Obama, although they conveniently forget to mention that the second biggest investor was a venture capital firm owned by the Walton family of Walmart, who are renowned Republicans.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com