Second clean energy loan company files for bankruptcy
October 31st, 2011
04:13 PM ET

Second clean energy loan company files for bankruptcy

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.

In a statement Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, says “Protecting taxpayer dollars remains the top priority for Secretary Chu and the Department, which is why we were careful to include many protections for the taxpayer in the loan guarantee for the Stephentown project.” He goes on to explain taxpayers are protected because the company’s Stephentown plant was used as collateral for the loan and the plant is still operating, the US is first in line to be paid back, and the loan was made to that plant not to the parent company which filed for bankruptcy. Additionally $4 million of the $43 million loan has not been used. LaVera says “the loan was set up in a way that ensures the Department is not directly exposed to the liabilities of the parent company” and it’s the parent company that filed for bankruptcy.”

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.

Topics: Energy • The News • White House

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "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"

    Coming out of a GOPer's there another word for chutzpa? His follow-up that it's not about a division along income lines is about the biggest pile of pucky the GOP has produced this year...almost.

    October 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • T. Crist


      I found your comment under the Beacon Power Company story......I am not sure what the GOP had to do with Beacon; I am concerned about the amount of $$$ that the government is wasting....It seems like both sides (Repubs and Dems) are at fault ....Looking at it as an Independent Voter, stuff like Solyndra and Beacon are happening on Obama's watch.....

      October 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
      • Steven

        It's Bush's fault.

        November 1, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • Poncho Villa

        This happened under Obama's watch. He's responsible for gross negligence at the expense of American taxpayers. I am an independent and will take this into account when it comes to 2012. Obams didn't really care because it was not his money.

        November 1, 2011 at 11:54 am |
      • YOu know jack

        More like ending on Obama's watch while the program the loans were made through was started during Bush's presidency. This begs the question who's at fault the one who started it or the one who was there when it ended.

        November 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • Jersey Bill

        It wasn't Bush, It wasn't both parties. This is 4 things: 1) pure Obama/Gore/Van Jones-inspired Green B.S. designed to transform America, 2) a ton of stimulus dollars thrown at the Dept of Energy to spend, 3) a bunch of non-business morons that never learned a debit from a credit, and 4) a gang of socialists that in their anti-capitalist fervor think they're smarter than everyone else.

        November 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • chris

        Obama looked the camera in the eye and claimed wasting $535 million in tax payer money on campaign contributors Solyndra was acceptable. And in the next breath told Americans he needs more. How stupid does he think American are?

        November 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • A.W.Messenger

      , said the little anonymous man so full of hatred against his fellow man he could hardly stand himself.

      October 31, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
      • Plutocracy

        THis is the Saddest President I have ever seen.... I'm not voting for him next time.... i have to wake up. LOOK at the MESS MY VOTE has supported NO to hell with that. All that tax payer money! WASSSSTTTEEED!

        November 1, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Don

      Sniffit, well said! The GOP has nothing else – especially any valid candidates.

      November 1, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Howard

      Our President is a chemist ... he turns money into sh it !!!

      November 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Howard

      MORE obama corruption ... as he continues to squander America's hard earned wealth ... and, adds insult to injury, by demonizing those who earned the wealth he's squandering !!!

      November 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • ScottyG

      This is CHANGE you can throw up too!

      November 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Guest

      Really off topic which doesn't help you make any point here.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Dan

      Why can you people never just say sorry? What scares me most about the recent dichotomy in american politics is the absolutely unrational hatred. To say that the other party is always wrong, on everything, and that you are always right is more than hubris, its ruining america. The stimulus package became a way to pay back green investors and lobbyists. Its just unacceptable for the man we put in charge of our great nation to behave like a small child. Say you screwed up. The stimulus was billed as a way to create jobs, when it failed instead of apologizing, instead of reasoning out another way to help, all he did was say it "saved jobs" something entirely impossible to disprove...or prove. As we witness the failure play out someone needs to be accountable. Obama said washington was going to be accountable on his watch. What about the guns in the hands of mexican drug lords? Why is Holder still employed? You could create an american job by hiring a replacement and putting him in jail.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  2. rf924

    Democrats are such dullards. Yet another example of wasting the taxpayers money by trying to shove their stupid "green economy" down our throats. The government has no business taking taxpayer money and loaning(giving) it to business of any kind. If there's a demand for the product, the market will produce that product. Everybody's lives would be so much better if democrats would mix in an economics class to go along with their basket-weaving and art classes while in school.

    October 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • I still prefer clean energy to hobby wars in Iraq

      Spoken like someone with a child's understanding of how the world works. Government (ie taxpayer) dollars have been behind the vast majority of major scientific advancements this country has made. Satellites, transistors, lasers, computers – you name it. Like most Republicans, you are probably a complete scientific illiterate. How'd your naive faith in "the market" work out during the financial crisis created by Wall Street free marketers? How about the BP oil spill? The free market really worked like a charm there. And Enron? And Bernie Madoff? It's very easy to list a million examples where the free market didn't work as advertised. It never does and never will. And, by the way, there's not a lot of difference between economics and basket weaving. It's certainly no science. At least basket weavers don't pretend to understand something they know almost nothing about. You won't see basket weavers making one spectacularly wrong prediction after another.

      October 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Hey You

        The transistor and laser were both patented by researchers at Bell Labs. The first operstional laser was made at Hughes Research Labs.

        November 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • rapierpoint

        Given the preference of your user name, I want to point out that, while you are correct that many advances that are part of our everyday lives were due to government funding, quite a lot of them were directly or indirectly due to funding from the Department of Defense and military spending.

        November 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • jean2009

      Going green is still the wisest and best choice for this country....basically the sooner the better.

      October 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
      • g.c.kells

        I think most people agree, and the market would reflect that if it wasn't being sabotaged by continuous government involvement.

        October 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • Plutocracy

        Why do democrats always want the government to get involved?! let people drive the market..... look how well that works for CELL PHONES, COMPUTERS, TABLETS! wake up. What you guys are suggesting is socialism... and that shit will not work in this country.

        become INDEPENDENT!!!!!!

        the Democrats and Republicans are both Bought!

        November 1, 2011 at 8:46 am |
      • Howard

        If 'going green' was viable at this point in time, the private sector would be jumping on it with both feet. Unfortunately, obama's green pixie dust pitch, which is redistributing billions of dollars toward incompetent companies who support his relection, is not only wasting money, it's weakening America's ability to function, grow, and compete.

        Going green is turning out to be MORE obama corruption ... as he continues to squander America's hard earned wealth ... and, adds insult to injury, by demonizing those who earned the wealth he's squandering !!!

        November 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • YOu know jack

        If the game wasn't rigged in favor of the oil companies then green energy would be far more profitable, however the cost to rent public land for green energy projects is waay above the cost of renting for Oil production. Putting Oil derricks on public land should cost the same amount or more then putting a solar farm due to the negative environmental impacts, but in the current system it costs 2 to 3 times as much in fees and rent to build solar or wind facilities.

        November 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Boston Dawg

        And when the market makes it affordable and profitable it will happen.... but what we don't need is people who happen to be large contributors to the 2nd worst president in American history getting money to prop up failed companies while the president props them up as the future stars of American industry....01.20.13 Americans can start to take their country back.

        November 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • C-Lo

        Obviously the OWS group agrees with you, Jean...They have gone VERY green (with envy) 🙂

        November 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        Plutocracy...MADE IN CHINA....all of the examples you cited.

        November 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • frespech

      This from a bunch of hillbillies and farmers, what a hoot.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Bob

      What you and most repub's dont get is that we are using a ton of oil and can't produce enough to satisfy that need.
      2/3 of the oil used in the US is from Forign sources, Most of them are anti-American. We continue to complain about the price of Gas and the Middleeast terrorists but will do nothing to get off forign oil. you could drill on every inch of this nation and you can't find enough oil to fill our need so there are a couple of things we could do. Alternitive energy (your current bitch), drive small cars like in Europe (nope gotta have my escalade) how about ending the big oil tax give away (no the price of gas will go up) Solandra and Beacon are two of 30 companies that are getting tax money for R/D if some succeed we could see a future without the need for US Wars in the middle east. but you'll stick to the old mantra of Drill baby Drill until the oil is all gone and we will have nothing in place to fall back on. This is a turning point we need to either find another source for energy or be happy with $4 /gallon gas and this will go up.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        Bob..actually most of it comes from Canada. Look it up.

        November 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
      • C-Lo

        Bob–typical misinformation about sources of oil...of the top 15 countries we import from (making up over 95% of our imports, the only out and out anti american is Venezuela, strained/tenuous relationships with several, Iraq, Columbia, Russia...contentious relationships that will always be around. But most of our imports come from relatively strong relationships–Canada and Mexico being the top two, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (and yes, I know that's where 9-11 terrorist came from), and Brazil, with the rest being relatively foreign relations neutral.

        Not to mention that oil is a fungible commodity, so being sold on the world markets, it doesn't really matter where we are importing it from–it's about who's producing on the world stage.

        Now if you want to debate the use of oil by the US, that's a different story. But don't forget that, at least historically (probably not so much now) we were the largest consumer of oil because we were the worlds largest producer of everything else. Now China has taken over the #1 spot of largest energy consumer and producer. They are doing it with primarily with coal, which we cannot do here because of red tape and regulaions (good or bad).

        What Libs don't understand is that they point to China for its economic growth, strangle US Companies. We cannot have the best of both worlds–you have to either sacrifice costs or cleanliness. Can we continue to try to move in that direction? Absolutely, but at this point coal and oil still generate the most energy per dollar to produce. Nuclear is another grand option, and as Dale points out, geothermal. But again, gov't red tape and focus on solar/wind is hampering progress in these areas, simply because they have the bigger lobbies and give more to the Dems.

        November 2, 2011 at 10:52 am |
      • steveo

        Bob, Here are my two cents. Administration after administration (both sides) have given grand speeches on the need for a sound energy policy. We still don't have one! Green technology is still in its infancy! We read rumblings are wind power but no one want turbines in their back yards (killing birds btw) We have nuclear power but no one wants to deal with the waste. We have plenty of coal but some claim it is too dirty! We have large supplies of natural gas but much opposition to get it. We have subsidized corn for fuel but in the process, corn for food became more expensive. This is not a left or right issue but an American one! I remember the embargo of the 70s! Not pleasant! Until "green" technology matures and until big oil lobbists and their deep pockets are ignored by BOTH sides, what's left?

        November 2, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  3. Silence Dogood

    $43 then $26 million after $200,000 in lobbying. Where can I get that type of investment? I bet they had were part of a PAC for Obama somewhere.

    What was the "Change" again?

    October 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      What was the change again? The change is what is left after throwing away taxpayer money. How do you make a small fortune? Start with a big one.....

      November 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  4. I still prefer clean energy to hobby wars in Iraq

    We will have pissed away $3 TRILLION taxpayer dollars on the hobby war in Iraq before all is said and done. This clean energy stuff is chicken feed by comparison. This whole "issue" is idiotic. The government invests tons of money in scientific and technological research. Sometimes it pays off big, most of the time it doesn't. But government research gave us the internet, the personal computer, the laser, countless life-saving or life-improving medications, etc. Pretty good deal, losses and all.

    October 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Steven

      Apples and Oranges.

      Your logic is off. Yes, we wasted money on the wars to that means we should waste money more money on bad investments? When times are tight you save moneyanwhere possible. Further, the discovies you reference came from NASA, not loan guarantees. THe loans where political payoffs.

      November 1, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • That Guy

      but Gore was not part of the Goverment when he created the internet 🙂

      November 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • rapierpoint

      And most of the inventions you mention were due to military spending. 'nuff said.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  5. Brian

    I was wondering where CNN hid this story

    October 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  6. what

    Great reporting CNN!

    how about the report about the validity of climate change data. Oops, forgot the mac sandwich was more important. Today journalists are a disgrace. What is next? Who is the cutest puppy? Yep, done that too....

    October 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  7. dieshard

    OF COURSE CNN hid the story!!! Just another bad obungler loan!!

    October 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  8. awojoone

    Another bad loan, what else is new??

    October 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  9. Alan

    The Chineese are under cutting the solar cell market and these small businesses are going bust. Obama is not to blame, Congress is for allowing China into the WTO!!!!. 'Let the Market' take care of it is the Repulican's slogan and those tea bagging goons has sole America's future down the drain. Thanks Reid, Pelosi, McConnell, Boehner, Kantor and Cohen!...thanks for selling out my little girl's future in this all are toast come the next election~!

    October 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      Obama is not to blame? He knowingly broke the law by subordinating the taxpayers contribution so it would not damage his contributors when propping up a failed company, it was readily apparent the company was failing, and he still pushed through the loan and threw the taxpayers under the bus which is illegal.

      Who cares if the Chinese are undercutting the costs, etc. That is what is called supply and demand.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  10. David

    I figured CNN would lock this article behind about 50 doors and throw away the key. CNN is going down with the ship. We need real leaders not community orgainzers. Obama should be doing nothing more than leading Occupy Wallstreet. What a black eye Bush and Obama have put on this country. Going to be 12 of the worst years of America's existence....16 if this clown gets re-elected

    October 31, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Hexdragon

      Are any of the other clowns any better??? NOPE!

      November 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  11. Keith in Austin

    Another vivid example of Obama's Department of Energy wasting millions of the taxpayers dollars. Still there are liberal idiots on here like Alan trashing conservatives! Incredible but
    he and many like him probably don't pay taxes anyway!

    October 31, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  12. David

    This company, and in my opinion Solyndra as well, should be supported more. It is through investments in modern energy that the costs the public pays for energy can stay in country rather than go over seas. This sum is a drop in the bucket compared to the subsidies and tax breaks oil companies get anyway (who employ overseas and move their profits off-shore)

    October 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • ItWasntMe

      If you want to support it, go ahead. Call up and invest as much of YOUR money you want. Leave the taxpayer's money out of it.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  13. FedUp

    Obama is batting 1000. First, he bails out banks and then they charge outrageous fees. Next he backs 2 companies that go bankrupt. Keep the taxpayers money rolling boys.

    October 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      All of the money given to the banks (many of which did not want to take it) has been paid back with interest but you would never be able to learn that from CNN (the communist news network)..... when a sensational story presents itself it makes the front page, when the details get fleshed out and it doesn't help the news organization's political slant the story ends up on the back page in a small labeled "Correction".....

      November 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  14. jerry

    oh my another BO ACORN scandal ...that is spending the hard earned taxpayer money to hopefully buy votes...BOs game is coming down and fast. He is finished, he just don't know it yet.

    October 31, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  15. Bob

    Once a crook, always a crook. Its time to get him out of office.

    October 31, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  16. Dreamer96

    You want to store electricity from the grid...spin up a very big horizontal flywheel, with a electric drive motor that is also a generator...need electricity use the generator to convert spinning flywheel energy into electricity a hydroelectric dam...

    October 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Yes it works

      The idea works and has been built. It just needs to be better imbraced. Actually, it is still working and producing revenue according to this article.

      November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  17. Dale

    White House and Department of Energy, Why are you ignoring GEOTHERMAL because there's no money in it ?

    There is a safe CARBON FREE AND A FREE SOURCE OF ENERGY that will never run out it is geothermal.
    There are geothermal hotspots located all over the United States, Nevada alone has over 200 geothermal locations just drilled down into these hotspots fracture the rock pump in WASTEWATER turn it into high-pressure steam in a closed- loop-system whenever more water is needed just add more wastewater, and if you're wondering what wastewater is filtered sewer water and contaminated industrial water.
    And if you don't believe me California they are doing something right they are using geothermal to generate electricity for over 1 million homes. And Nevada has at least one geothermal plant running, and there are hundreds of geothermal hotspots in Nevada.
    Drill down into these hotspots to generate steam for electricity, geothermal can easily generate 1/2 of America's needs for electricity, but one problem no money to be made off of geothermal it is a free energy source.

    States with big coal mines, natural gas deposits and railroad company’s also big power plant companies have their congressmen and senators put up roadblocks to stop geothermal energy.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Great ideas Dale...why don't you jump right on it and start it up? Oh, yeah, you addressed that–Big Gov't is corrupt and lobbied to block you out of the energy industry. If we had smaller gov't with less ability to create the regulations that keep you (or others) from exploring and producing it, we might be seeing more of it (not to mention your tax $$ going to competing businesses/industries that are the pet projects of whoever is in power at the time).

      November 1, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  18. SteveAndrew

    The GOP like sticky GOOP wants sticky oil on our sandy beaches since they are endorsed, lobbied and funded by the Tea Party whose founders happen to have $44 billion from the 2nd largest business in the USA which is the oil business. They also cater to supplying international terrorist states like Iran. Can't we just have common sense and try more thoughtfully to get clean energy. Coal is not clean and either is oil. Both dirty technology industries fill the coffers of our Republicans in public office.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  19. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

    Congress had to authorize the money to begin with so their hands are just as dirty as those in the administration.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • eville11

      and that makes you feel better about the admin right..

      November 1, 2011 at 6:42 am |
      • Don

        Nope – its a FACT though. Kinda takes the seriousness out of political fingerpointing like is going on here.

        November 1, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Jasie

      Where;s the hope and change. We've been shafted.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  20. Tilly

    Lefties like wasting money because usually it isn't theirs. It doesn't matter what Obama does they'll march in lock step and never question a word he says. Obama has lied and broken a plethora of promises yet they will continue believing his inane statements just like pigs lapping at a trough.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  21. HIH

    what a shocker

    November 1, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  22. Plutocracy

    WOW Obama has surely CHANGED something alright..... and that's our likelihoods!

    November 1, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  23. mikle

    He promise change- he deliver. For this change i wish i vote against him. I will correct in 2012.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Don

      Who will you vote for?

      November 1, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  24. durundal

    partisan garbage aside for a second, why did they fail and what were the conditions that lead to it? Currently renewables are heavily dependent on government subsidies to compete with mainstream tech, but I was wondering what lead up to them declaring bankruptcy. Seems to me if we do not know the WHY or the HOW of it, then most people should not be talking like it means something.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Tim in MN

      Well said. Why did they fail? Good question that good journalists should pursue. Renewables cannot compete with massive energy companies so they are indeed dependent on government subsidies. We should know what led to the bankruptcy of these companies so we can learn from the mistakes made.

      November 1, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Boston Dawg

      There are any number of companies that are very successful in this space that have not taken one penny and will likely be the industry leaders when the time comes, supply and demand will drive the process not someone who does not draw a breath without considering the political implications........

      November 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  25. Manuel

    Really folks...CONGRESS approved the stimulus...THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT (Congress, Senate, President). Funny how quick the GOP points the finger to hide their own complicit actions. CONGRESS spends the money folks...NOT the President. WAKE UP!

    November 1, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Vote Out Obama

      Congress voted for it based on Obama's pressure. It was also done when both Congress and Senate were ruled by Obama's lap dogs...the democrats. Vote Obama Out in 2012 for a better tomorrow.

      And YOU need to wakeup Manuel.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  26. Don

    All this ruckus because we hear of a "second" clean-energy company folding? Fair question, as much money and profits there is in oil, HOW MANY oil companies went bankrupt in the last few years in this country? Here are some for starters since 2009: Oil Company Bankruptcies
    South Texas Oil Company
    Evans Oil Copany
    Virgin Oil Company
    Crescent Oil Company
    Flying J Oil Company
    Brunswick Oil Company
    Marcus Oil
    TriDimension Energy
    Appalacian Oil
    JW Williams Oil Company
    Aurora Oil and Gas Corp
    Apex Oil.

    Let's decide to live in the real world....where in the entire post-WWII era, 9 our of 10 business start-ups failed during their first year. This spans both good and bad times...

    November 1, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • steveo


      Good research, as Ii have never heard of any of these companies. Are you saying the government directly invested taxpayer money into these companies?

      November 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Jeff

        "Are you saying the government directly invested taxpayer money into these companies?" – Of course they are Steveo, oil companies are subsidized like almost all other energy in the US and other developed countries.

        The real issue here is why this technology didn't work and is there a way to make it better? Large energy storage is an extremely useful tool for future energy needs. It would open up many other technologies that could be used in conjunction with these storage batteries. Sounds like these ones didn't work well, but should we hate the people who took a chance and tried?

        November 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
      • Don

        Right, none of us will ever hear of the millions of companies that have failed....but oddly we are hearing a lot about these two companies that ventured into a new technology. While our Federal Government may not have directly funded these failed oil companies, lets be real about how much of our tax dollars and how many billions in tax breaks go directly to the oil industry in general. Somehow, still...the large majority of oil companies fail. Yet we have not dropped funding or tax breaks for oil companies.

        November 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • steveo


        I think we are hearing about these two companies for several reasons:

        1. Direct government intervention
        2. Both have filed for bankruptcy shortly after garnering millions in tax payer monies
        3. The time lapse between both events in almost non existance!

        Why did Solyndra shut down shortly after getting the money and why did the execs plead the fifth? No one takes the fifth unless they have something to hide. Tax breaks are one thing but direct government intervention in the form of loans is a different animal!

        I have no issue with green energy but one. It is still immature! It is telling that the free market is not all in! P.S. I don't hate the President. I wish folks would stop that accusation!

        I wil concede that big oil is a powerful lobby and have bought off both those on the left and the right!

        November 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
      • YOu know jack

        Since when are government backed loans government intervention? Oil companies get government backed loans, so do states, car companies, cable companies, telephone companies. Heck almost every industry in America gets low rate government backed loans of some sort or another. So two companies went bankrupt, big deal happens all the time. Additionally this program and the ground rules followed for it were setup under Bush. Lastly Oil companies successfully lobbied Congress to charge higher fees and rent to green energy companies then the oil companies pay almost guaranteeing their eventual failure because the fees were setup so that as the project became more successful, the fees would eventually increase to the point of causing the companies to fail. If you don't believe me look up how the fees for use of public lands for energy production are structured. This combined with the massive subsidies that China gives to their green energy companies puts our industries at a horrible competitive disadvantage. This is not Obama's fault it is a failure of congress to properly protect our industry from unfair and anti-competitive practices employed by other nations.

        November 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Boston Dawg

        Knowingly breaking the law by subordinating the debt so as to not hurt the contributors and throwing the taxpayers under the bus as is the case of Solyndra is an impeachable event in my opinion.

        November 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Steveo

        YK Jack,

        If they could have secured enough bank or private investment, I am sure they would have. Since they did not, the government intervened!

        November 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • Steveo


        Thanks for the comment. I am just wondering if all these companies failed with taxpayer money did anybody ask why? Did the government get paid back? Did anybody even care enough to ask questions and investigate? That is what I wonder!

        November 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • WWRRD

      These companies may have gone bankrupt, but did they get loans from the government in the process. They probably lost shareholder money or stuck banks and vendors when they declared bankruptcy. That is the American way. Your list only makes sense if the government guarunteed these company's loans.

      November 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • steveo

        That is the very point of my question also.

        November 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Don

        Perhaps, but this partial list also makes this point: As taxpayers, we have all paid more supporting oil companies than we ever will to support clean energy development. Let's not even get into nukes... which are pretty much completely paid for by our taxes. Like it our not, hate the President or not, you and I are paying the oil companies' bills.

        November 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • C-Lo

      A rundown of several of the companies finds that some were oil/gas exploration...typical start-up investments in the industry, similar to small biogen, pharma, etc. where angel investors throw money at a bunch of them hoping one or two will hit. A couple were bulk distributors, put out of business, most likely, by the big boys consolodating operations, one (marcus oil) was a chemical company and subsidary–completely different industry.

      In otherwords, it's easy to google oil company bankruptcy and get a host of hits, but essentially meaningless without the further research.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jasie

      Source please.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      How much did the taxpayers lose on these oil company bankruptcies?

      November 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  27. Gene

    We are beginning to see a trend here:
    – The Obama Administration gives away tons of money to friendly corporations.
    – The corporations go bankrupt.
    – The taxpayers foot the bill.

    It's an Obamanation!

    November 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  28. WWRRD

    When a green energy product that makes sense hits the market, it will be profitable. The government should fund green energy Research and Development through agencies like NIST. We all need to become energy independent as fast as technology will allow. Acting as a financial backstop for green companies with risky business models is kind of dumb.

    Most consumers will only choose "green" when "green" is cost neutral. Only the environmental, and lefty people with above average incomes will pay extra for "green".

    November 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  29. mike

    This is just another Obama payoff. channel funds into companies that declare bankruptcy a year or two later. Is anyone following the money on these companies? Still wondering where all those stimulus funds went!

    November 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  30. ChuckFromAL

    Investing in clean energy is a good thing. China highly subsidizes it's clean energy companies. If the US wants to compete then we need to as well. Are we as a country going to concede everything to the Chinese? If so then I suggest that Americans start learning Chinese because they will soon rule the US.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  31. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    This Algore mentality of someone creating "green" jobs has got to stop. STOP wasting our taxes on failed naive left-wing notions that have no sustainability in the real world.

    November 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  32. chris

    this is all ok as long as some of that money makes it back to the DNC and Obama's campaign.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  33. Jasie

    And they want us to pass another "jobs bill" full of this same junk.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  34. Solex

    Funny how the GOP congress didn't think that the no bid contracts given to Haliburton were of no concern but now they want to assign blame personally to Obama for these bankruptcies.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • chris

      hope and change.... remember?

      November 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  35. Energy Advisor

    God I hope reincarnation is true, so that all you idiots that think clean energy is stupid can come back and enjoy the world you are creating with your politically motivated bullshit. Clean Energy NOW!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • chris

      clean energy isn't stupid. however, we all should be upset at giving hundreds of millions in tax payer money to campaign contributors and telling the american people the loss is acceptable, while at the same time complaining about not being able to waste more.

      November 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  36. us1776

    Beacon Power is fully viable.

    It needs proper financing that's all.


    November 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Boston Dawg

      I generally don't equate bankruptcy with the phrase "fully viable"..... not sure if you ever noticed but money tends to flock to companies that are fully viable, no need to give away my children's future to prop up people that contribute lots of money to your campaign.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • chris

        it is if you're wanting more campaign contributions.

        November 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • us1776

      Boston, I see you know nothing about bankruptcy.

      Bankruptcy occurs when you become insolvent. You no longer have the liquidity necessary to pay creditors. It doesn't mean that your business plan is bad. It means that you either have to liquidate assets to pay creditors. Or you restructure your debt with new financing. Beacon Power falls into this second case.

      And smart money very often gets injected into companies who've fallen into bankruptcy.


      November 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  37. ciaobella23

    The business Roundtable has spent 8Miillion on lobbying for Energy this year - so what is the point...

    November 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  38. q

    The FBI and IRS should audit the DOE and rat out those who enabled these bankruptcies. If not, anonymous will.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  39. ciaobella23

    Solyndra, Inc. was awarded a $535 million loan guarantee to manufacture innovative cylindrical solar photovoltaic panels that provide clean, renewable energy. [Solyndra press release]
    Nordic Windpower USA has been offered a conditional commitment for $16 million to support the expansion of its assembly plant in Pocatello, Idaho to produce its one megawatt wind turbine. [Nordic Windpower press release]
    Beacon Power, an energy storage company, has been offered a conditional commitment of $43 million to support the construction of its 20 megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York that will help ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid. [Beacon Power press release]
    Red River Environmental Products, LLC has been offered a conditional commitment for $245 million to build an activated carbon (AC) manufacturing facility near Coushatta, Red River Parish, Louisiana. [Red River press release]
    The Department of Energy offered conditional commitments for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Burke, Georgia. [Vogtle Electric press release]
    BrightSource Energy, Inc. has been offered conditional commitments for more than $1.37 billion in loan guarantees under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the construction and start-up of three utility-scale concentrated solar power plants.[BrightSource Energy press release]
    First Wind – Kahuku Wind Power, LLC has received a conditional commitment for $117 million to install twelve 2.5 MW wind turbine generators along with a battery energy storage system for electricity load stability.
    Sage Electrochromics has received a conditional commitment for $72 million to support the financing of the construction and operation of a 250,000 square foot, high volume manufacturing facility to produce SageGlass®, an energy-saving switchable window technology for commercial and residential use.
    Ford Motor Company has closed on a $5.9 billion loan to Ford Motor Company to transform factories across Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio to produce more fuel efficient models. [Ford Motor Company press release]
    Nissan has closed on a $1.4 billion loan to produce electric cars and battery packs at its manufacturing complex in Smyrna, Tennessee. The loan will aid in the construction of a new battery plant and modifications to the existing assembly facility. [Nissan press release]
    Tesla Motors has been offered a $465 million loan to finance a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S sedan and to support a facility to manufacture battery packs and electric drive trains. [Tesla Motors press release]
    Fisker Automotive has been offered a $528.7 million conditional loan for the development of two lines of plug-in hybrids that will save hundreds of millions of gallons of gasoline and offset millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. [Fisker Automotive press release]

    2 ouf of 12 have had issues, but the rest are doing fine and creating jobs

    November 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  40. marvalea

    As our nation TRIES to move towards environmental-friendly, efficient alternative sources of energy, there will be setbacks. Businesses go out of business all of the time – many times more businesses failed under GWB's watch, as hundreds of thousands of jobs were also lost. The loans to Solyndra and Beacon are NOTHING compared to the TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES paid to Big Oil as it rakes in the tens of billions in QUARTERLY profits!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  41. FKell

    Hard to compete in the global market when China is pumping billions and billions in subsidies into their "corporations" allowing them to make items cheaper, destroying the ability for other corporations to compete in that market, and driving them out of business. With the end game being that they have a monopoly on those goods and services. Take a hard look at what they are doing over there in the "green energy" technologies, just like the two companies that have failed here in the USA.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  42. FKell

    Hard to compete in the global market when Ch ina is pumping billions and billions in subsidies into their "corporations" allowing them to make items cheaper, destroying the ability for other corporations to compete in that market, and driving them out of business. With the end game being that they have a monopoly on those goods and services. Take a hard look at what they are doing over there in the "green energy" technologies, just like the two companies that have failed here in the USA.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • chris

      It's more than two companies. When all said and done it'll be more like a dozen with the totals in the high single digit billions. The worst part about that is the administration knew these companies were failing but kept giving them tax payer money because they were Obama supporters. I guess I fail to see how spending this money is acceptable. Perhaps the Obama administration should have slapped tariffs on Chinese solar panels to keep the prices equivalent. There were other means at their disposal but they chose to throw tax payer money at the problem which is the liberal way. Don't fix anything just waste money.

      November 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  43. jackal & jester

    If anyone is to blame it is the ones running these companies. Regardless of who provided them money they were the ones running their companies. Not the president, not congress.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  44. davey

    mmmm mmmmm mmmmm barack hussein obama. your hope and chage is lost. you may win the election but the republicans will maintain contorol of the house and maybe even the senate. obama care will be dismatled piece by piece by the courts and every spending bill you try to shove down our throats will be as successfull as your jobs bill. have a nice day barry.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • chris

      Obamacare will dismantle itself. It's expense will provide the typical liberal legacy. Burden on the tax payer and economy.

      November 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  45. partysstink

    Politcals making bad choices no suprise there thow money at it that will fix the problem.

    November 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  46. john

    As with the economy, this administration is not running on all cylinders.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  47. Karin

    Especially our NOW Politicians – ALL of them (incl the Prez) seem to make BAD decisions – they cannot STOP USELESS WARS – instead they say "we'll move the forces to Kuwait" – and they cannot CUT SPENDING – instead "tax richer people more" – THEY really do not GET IT – – so am I surprised that THEY invest in highly risky companies ? NO – – Instead, THEY (GOVT) should promote NATURAL GAS – it is environmentally better than oil, CHEAPER – and "we got it" – – Windmills will NOT power cars – but natural gas WILL

    November 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  48. chris

    With all the wasted tax payer money by this administration why would anyone support raising taxes? Clean up the waste before you ask hard working Americans for more money.

    November 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  49. Bill

    How about "Boycott Hawaii" unless and until they comply with the wishes of the people investigating the birth certificate. Again folks "BOYCOTT HAWAII". take your convention and vacation dollars elsewhere.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  50. ashwini reddy mandadi

    I wish they posted the list of green energy companies that received funding from federal and are running successfully if any... looking at just solyndra and Beacon's failure, I dont think its wise to say that the department of energy has made a wrong choice..

    November 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  51. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh really Dan? Say we're sorry?!? LOL! When you clowns and ACORN put BUSH in there twice and nobody...but NOBODY has ever suggested you all to say you're 'sorry'! Come on now! Come again Dan...Get real! If we can't get an apology from you all...not to speak of a real prosecution and conviction, there's no way in GODS' green earth you should even attempt to voice such a request from OBAMA and his supporters! LOL! That is funny! STOP IT!

    November 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
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