October 31st, 2011
04:13 PM ET
A second clean energy company that received a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy has filed for bankruptcy. According to their website, Beacon Power received $43 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. The company was working on a new technology that would allow the nation’s electricity grid to store energy by constructing what, on the company’s website, they call “a state of the art energy storage facility in Stephentown, New York”.
The company also received $26 million in stimulus grants from the Department of Energy.
A White House official says Beacon’s finances protections will be part of the outside review of all the administration's clean energy loan guarantees, which was ordered by White House Chief of Staff on Friday.
Republicans were quick to react.
Representative Cliff Stearns, House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman, which is investigating the Solyndra loan, issued a statement saying, “This latest failure is a sharp reminder that DOE has fallen well short of delivering the stimulus jobs that were promised, and now taxpayers find themselves millions of more dollars in the hole. Unfortunately for the American taxpayers, I am deeply concerned that other DOE programs could follow which goes to the heart of the President's flawed economic program."
In a statement Senator Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, said, “The revelation that another corporation receiving a loan from the Obama administration has filed for bankruptcy is further evidence of the reckless abuse of taxpayers’ dollars in the pursuit of green jobs. Increasingly, we are moving away from our capitalist heritage and towards a system where most Americans play by the rules while some are able to rig the game in their favor. The real divide is not split along income lines, but between the politically-connected and those—whether businesses or individuals—who just want the freedom to earn a living.”
An administration official argues this is different from Solyndra. When Solyndra went bankrupt it closed up shop but Beacon’s Stephentown plant continues to operate. This official adds the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is an independent agency, approved a rule that could provide an economic incentive for the use of flywheel and battery systems.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since President Obama took office, Beacon Power spent a total of $200,000 on lobbying efforts.
Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.