Obama: ‘Some of the Businesses We Encourage Will Fail’
“Today there are thousands of workers building long-lasting batteries and wind turbines and solar panels all across the country, jobs that weren’t there four years ago,” Obama said, touting his administration’s efforts to subsidize the green energy industry.
Obama then admitted that not everything the government will “bet on” will be successful, admitting that in fact some of the businesses he plans to give taxpayer funds will be sure to fail.
“And sure, not all of the technologies we bet on will pan out. Some of the businesses we encourage will fail, but I promise you this: there is a future for manufacturing here in America,” he said. “There’s a future for clean energy here in America, and I refuse to cede that future to other countries.”
Obama’s signature green energy subsidy program has been plagued by high-profile failures, most notably of solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, which received $500 million in government loans and became the face of Obama’s green jobs initiative before going bankrupt in 2010, defaulting on its government loans after administration officials took extraordinary measures to save it, even subordinating those loans to those of private investors, making sure that taxpayers were repaid last.
Normally, government loans are required to be senior to those of private investors, ensuring that taxpayers are first in line to get their money back if the company fails.
Other high-profile green energy failures include Abound Solar, electric car maker Fisker, and the much-hyped electric Chevy Volt, which ceased production earlier this year due to a lack of consumer demand.
Obama made the Volt another centerpiece of not only his green energy policies but also of his auto bailout, pointing to it as evidence that his administration had refocused General Motors on making the cars of the future. Obama even sat in a Volt during a visit to a manufacturing plant in Michigan where the car’s battery is made.
Obama has doubled-down on the controversial subsidy program as part of a second-term agenda, saying repeatedly at campaign stops that he plans to continue the program as part of his plans to increase manufacturing output.