Obama’s Green Energy Investments Continue to Fail

February 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Industrial Policy: In recent days we learned sales of the Volt and Leaf cratered, President Obama’s failed green jobs program is under investigation, and another “clean energy” company’s in trouble. Green is the new red.

Each week, it seems, brings fresh evidence that the Obama administration’s obsession with so-called clean energy is an increasingly costly failure.

January car sales data out this week provided additional proof that consumers are turning their backs on electric cars, making President Obama’s pledge to get a million of them on the road in three years look even more ridiculous.

Chevy sold just 603 Volts in January. (It sold almost five times as many gas-guzzling, 12 mpg Suburbans that same month.) Nissan moved just 676 Leafs, and the company hasn’t sold more than 1,000 in five months.

And these dismal sales figures come in a month when overall auto sales were surprisingly strong — hitting a high not seen since May 2008.

Consumers’ lack of interest in electric cars helped push another Obama-backed company — Ener1 — into bankruptcy protection late last week, despite the $118 million grant its battery-making subsidiary got from the Energy Dept. As the CEO put it, the company suffered a lack of demand, thanks to lower-than-hoped-for electric car sales.

Ener1 joins two other failed green companies — Solyndra and Beacon Power — that took $571 million in taxpayer subsidies down with them.

To top things off, the House is stepping up its probe into Obama’s $500 million green job training program, according to a USA Today story this week.

An earlier Labor Department inspector general report found the program placed just 8,000 people in jobs after 17 months, or about 10% of the program’s goal.

The IG went so far as to suggest scrapping the program altogether and returning unspent money to the Treasury.

Unfortunately, like a bad investor, Obama wants to double down on his failure.

“The payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away,” he said in his January State of the Union speech. “Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.”

That may be so, but solar, wind and electric cars are hardly new technologies — electric cars were being sold back in the late 1800s.

Indeed, the only thing new here is Obama’s naivete about their potential, and his eagerness to waste so much taxpayer money pushing them.

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