Obama Vows More Money for Green Energy: ‘When I Try Something That Doesn’t Work, Then I Don’t Try It Again'

July 16, 2012 - 5:04 PM

Obama 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the Cincinnati Music Hall in Cincinnati, Monday, July 16, 2012. Obama is spending the day campaigning in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama told a Cincinnati audience on Monday that he does not make the same mistake more than once. Minutes later, he told the same crowd he would continue spending federal dollars on green energy.

The Obama administration has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on green energy companies, many of which either declared bankruptcy or created most of their jobs outside the United States. The most notable among these was Solyndra, which got a $535 million Energy Department loan in 2009, but declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 shortly before being raided by the FBI.

Speaking in the critical swing state of Ohio on Monday, Obama blamed tax cuts and other policies of the Bush administration for the country’s economic problems. He said Republicans are not proposing any different ideas for this campaign season.

“I don’t know about you, but in my life what I’ve found, you know, sometimes I do boneheaded things, I make mistakes,” Obama said. “I find, when I try something that doesn’t work, then I don’t try it again. I don’t – you don’t go back to doing something that didn’t work.”

Less than 10 minutes later, the president pledged that continuing to “invest” in green energy would be part of his agenda if reelected.

“We’re going to invest in American energy,” Obama said. “Yes, we want to continue to expand our production of oil and natural gas, but I also want to make sure we are the leaders in solar and biodiesel – the energy of the future that can help reduce dependence on foreign oil.”

The Obama administration spent $9 billion on solar and wind projects from 2009 to 2011 resulting in the creation of 910 “direct jobs,” according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the Energy Department.

A study by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, found that 19 of the companies that received loans or grants by the Obama administration have filed for bankruptcy or are in the process of doing so.

These include Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, Solyndra, Beacon Power, which got $43 million; AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy, Nevada Geothermal, which received $98.5 million; SunPower, which got $1.5 billion from the government; First Solar, which received $1.46 billion from the federal government; Babcock & Brown, an Australian company which received $178 million from the administration; Ener1, a subsidiary EnerDel that received $118.5 million; Amonix, which received $5.9 million; The National Renewable Energy Lab; Fisker Automotive; Abound Solar, which received $400 million; Solar Trust of America; A123 Systems, which received $279 million; Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, which received $6 million; Johnson Controls, which received $299 million; and Schneider Electric, which received $86 million.

Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has called Obama the “outsourcer in chief” for pushing subsidies to green energy companies that create jobs overseas.

The most notable green project to get money from the $787 billion stimulus was Fisker, which got $529 million from the Department of Energy, $359 million of which was supposed to go toward a plant in Wilmington, Del. However, Fisker began assembling its first line of cars in Finland in 2011. USA Today reported that the Fisker Plant in Delaware is “absolutely empty.”