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Obama cites another green company; it immediately goes bankrupt

Maybe president should stop talking about green energy firms — immediately

Perhaps President Obama should stop talking about green energy companies. 

Every time he does, it seems, they go bankrupt.

It happened again Thursday, according to Bloomberg/Businessweek.

Just two days after Obama referenced Ener1, an electric battery maker that received a $118 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Here's what President Obama said Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, in reference to Ener1:

“In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries."

And here's what Bloomberg/Businessweek is reporting about Thursday's news:

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The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in court papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.

This is the second high-profile embarrassment for the Obama administration's plans to support the U.S. alternative energy industry.

Solar panel maker Solyndra, which received $535 million in government loan guarantees, went bankrupt in September.

Don't expect a strategy shift away from green energy, though.

During the State of the Union speech, President Obama made the following promise:

“Payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy."

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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have your say   

2 comments on this story

Jan 30, 2012, 4:50 pm
-0 +0

obamanomics.  We goin green. Screw that pipeline. Its stinky.

Jan 28, 2012, 9:16 am
-0 +0

So its sounds like the company is using the bankruptcy protections to reorganize and comeback stronger, like many companies do each year.  I don’t like the way that works, and call it a bailout that businesses have always had, but that is the way business works.  Look at all the big resorts in town.  Many have done this before they became profitable.  It is just the normal people who don’t use this kind of welfare.  Businesses do it all the time.  Now the battery company can comptete, because it won’t have the debt issues it had.

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Pete Souza/White House

President Barack Obama speaks to Congress during the State of the Union on Tuesday.