• Feb 14th 2012 at 6:02PM
  • 55
If you worry that you might lose $10 billion but then only lose $3 billion, is that a success?

That's the current fiscal reality of the Department of Energy's advanced energy projects loan guarantee program, the one that most people know simply because it gave a loan guarantee to Solyndra, which then went belly up. The political debate continues about whether the DOE should have given out the loan guarantees in the first place, and now the White House is saying the program get better financial oversight and performance standards. That's the takeaway point from an audit the White House released Friday, the New York Times reports. The audit was started at President Obama's request last October.

Thus far, the audit revealed, according to the Detroit News, of the $23.5 billion allocated to the loan program, just $8.3 billion has been given out through 30 different loans. The current estimate is that $3 billion of that will not be returned. The DOE says that its $8.3 billion has generated $40 billion in private investment and is supporting at least 60,000 jobs.

As part of the audit process, the DOE is taking a harder look at the loans, which is one reason Fisker Automotive is renegotiating its loan.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how much money we spend sending our young men to die in the hot and dusty part of the world, all to keep the oil coming at OUR PRICE on OUR TERMS.. How come that part of our energy policy is not ever mentioned, Sebastian? just too risque for this media outlet? grow a set of balls, guys.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        i'd almost bet you that for every billion 'lost' in DoE loans, we spend another 10-30 billion running down the same dead end fossil fuel path. Act like a damn green car new site for once ABG
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          throwback, contrary to most reporters' beliefs, standing up for the truth is not unprofessional. it's their duty but they all fail.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          ABG should advocate GREEN CARS and stop posting articles that dump on them at almost every opportunity given. And conveniently forget posting many things speaking out against the oil industry. The price of continuing to import oil is a non-partisan issue. There is a huge cost to our govt. This is not a radical view and the number we spend per year could be calculated and provided. it would pale in comparison to what is being reported here. Does that sound a little too libertarian to you? it does not to me.
          Grendal
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I, for one, don't mind a news article about green cars either postive or negative. The negative articles give us needed information to argue against. News is news. Even slanted news needs to be called out for being slanted. I occasionally go to a the Fox news articles about green cars and post real information to combat their BS.
          Actionable Mango
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Poor choices are not justified by the fact that there are other poor choices being made.
          throwback
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          So ABG should advocate a political philosophy?
          EZEE
          • 7 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Www.realclearenergycom rocks. They don't write their own stuff, but compile everything. Right wing, left Wing. Same people who do realclearpolitics. Read an anti-volt article, there will be a pro volt article right next to it. Make up your own mind, and see the good, and bad of both sides. Also be better educated when dealing with those who disagree. Or in my case, because I am evil, always ready to be the devils advocate....
        Danaon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Well, there's this thing called reality, and it doesn't always agree with you or whatever your cause is. Deal with it, honestly. You're angry that ABG isn't just spewing useless platitudes and ignoring the reality of the DOE loan program? Get over yourself. Stop living in a bubble.
        marcopolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        @2WM Wow, really! I hadn't realised that global warming had reached such a level that Canada had turned into a hot, dusty part of the world? Oh, BTW the US maybe the biggest force in the war on terror, but it's not the only nation fighting to curtail the threat of fundamentalism.
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      The question of government (Taxpayer) incentives is always contentious, especially in the US. To most other nations, the level of opposition to taxpayer funded incentives is difficult to understand. The reason is that in most other economies, the government is often the only organisation with sufficient capital to fund infrastructure or provide capital guarantees for important new industries that help develop the nation. The USA, is fairly unique in possessing such vast reserves of private capital for so long, that the concept of state involvement in private industry became an anathema to the body politic. But is that still the case? The US has depleted much of that once vast national treasure. The US is crippled with national debt, and US industry, exports etc, have fallen behind due to a lack of investment in retooling with new and innovative industrial production. The US faces trade competitors range from a cashed up PRC, to a resurgent Europe. US domination in nearly every industry is just a memory. Private capital has fled the US or is invested in seeking short term speculative gains. The greatest of all wealth creating, cash cows, the Oil industry, is preparing for a future of lower profits, and dwindling resources. The transfer of wealth and industry from the US to other nations, particularly the PRC, is without precedent. What else could any any US president do? Both Bush and Obama understood the need to halt the decline and reinvigorate the US with incentives. After all, the government has a vested interest in investing in new industries. These new industries expand the GDP, and with increased economic activity, the governments Tax revenue- base rises! Ensuring competent auditing, and constant expert scrutiny , is very important given the sums involved and the fact that it's taxpayers money.
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Spec, Why stop there? Don't you have any other racial or other sterotypes you can kick around? Aw, c'mon I' ll bet you can list a few more.....
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      @marcopolo That's the joke. I'm mocking the OP's dog whistle politics of "community group in Chicago"
      EVnerdGene
      • 7 Months Ago
      amen
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sometimes generalizations can be funny! :D. I remember seeing pictures from an anti- war protest. Bush did this, bush did that. One guy had this sign, 'Bush broke my arm' and he had a cast on. Made me lol.
      brotherkenny4
      • 3 Years Ago
      A loan guarantee is when a government assumes a private debt obligation if the borrower defaults. Thus the government has only spent tax payer dollars in the case of the defaults. Even in the case of solyndra, the company was not without equity and that will be liquidated first to meet the companies debt obligations and then the government will pay what was left unpaid. So, if a company doesn't default then the government has not spent any tax payer money. The loan is not from the government, only guarenteed by it. Typically the company receiving the loan has to have some capital to put toward the project also, and so they are not without risk either. So, no money was given out. An allocation is a set aside for special purposes. The 8.3 loaned is the amount the government has guarenteed, not loaned. These are all very boring facts not of interest to anyone intending to spin a wingnut agenda. The bottom line is that loan guarentees have good value for governments that want to promote certain technologies without actually funding them (no tax payer money given out or even loaned). It does require that the technical experts make sound judgements, and in the case of solyndra it appears that the technical experts failed. However, the fact that the media fails to pick up on the meaning of "loan guarantee" and correct the general misconceptions suggests either extreme stupidity or complete corruption, and neither of these are good.
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Our government makes loan guarantees (like most SBA loans), and sometimes makes direct loans. These were direct loans. OK; so we were guaranteeing that money we loaned to Solyndra, but borrowed from the Chinese, will be paid back to the Chinese.
      EJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ah yes, the war on 'terror' and fundamentalists, except those in Indonesia, or Mali, or anywhere else they don't have anything we want...
      EVnerdGene
      • 3 Years Ago
      a community organizer is a mob boss
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Right? It's all about terror isn't it. That's why when Libya ( has oil ) acts up, we come in there and put a death warrant on their dictator. Little Syria has the same dictator problem but does not have oil, so we stand back and let the blood shed continue. That's why when the strait of Hormuz is threatened to be closed, we have a mass militarization ready to start world war 3 with Iraq within hours. Yes, fighting terror.. that's what my friend who came back from the middle east with PTSD and ruptured discs in his back was doing, not defending oil refineries and wells.. You are a denialist if i ever encountered one, marcopolo. The majority of our involvement with the middle east revolves around oil. And the majority of our military budget goes into the middle east. You put two and two together bro.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      @2wheel Actually, with Libya it was the euros who pushed hardest. Obama "lead from behind" as the term went. Europe got piles of oil (piles of oil?) from Libya...
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is why I like people here. You, PR, Marco, filling in the blanks senselessly left out of the article so I can actually learn. Thanks man! :)
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