When President Barack Hussein Obama ran for president in 2008, he promised to create a minimum of five million new green related jobs. When elected, Obama pursued his green energy dream by having the Department of Energy (DOE) subsidize and/or provide loans and loan guarantees to green energy companies. Those subsidies and loans have totaled billions of taxpayer dollars. Yet the green energy companies, despite DOE assistance, continue to go bankrupt and/or cut back.
Facing financial challenges, we would expect the green energy companies to be reducing in every way possible, but that is not necessarily the case. It seems that some of the green energy companies are paying top executives higher salaries plus giving them bonuses.
ECOtality is one of those struggling green companies that took $141 million from the DOE. Even though they reported a 2011 loss of $22.5 million, they gave the CEO a 50% raise in pay.
First Solar has received around $1.5 billion in DOE stimulus backed loans. First Solar just announced a fourth-quarter loss of $413.1 million, that it closed plants in Germany and Malaysia, and is laying off 2,000 employees. Yet First Solar’s CEO, Mike Ahearn, earned $32 million in salary and bonuses.
A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that supplied (among others) Fisker Automotive, announced that it will replace all the defective batteries it shipped at a cost of $55 million. A123 Systems got a $249 million grant from DOE. The top four A123 executives all received an average of a 20% increase in their base salary and several of them have seen additional increases in 2012.
Obama’s silence on the salary increases and bonuses of these green energy companies speaks loudly. He feigned outrage when he learned of AIG’s top executive bonuses, saying, “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” But when it comes to the green energy industry, we never hear any criticism from Obama. Can anyone say “double standard?”
Is it fair to say that these are examples of our tax dollars at work?
But that’s just my opinion.
Cross-posted at RWNO, my personal web site.