Following the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) announcement yesterday that it will auction off its $168 million loan to discredited electric vehicle manufacturer Fisker Automotive at a significant loss to taxpayers, U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) is calling for the Senate to consider his amendment (#1887) to the Shaheen-Portman energy bill currently before the Senate. Thune's amendment would eliminate the DOE's risky Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which granted loans to failed companies like Fisker and Vehicle Production Group. Recently, DOE Secretary Moniz suggested that he will revive the now-dormant ATVM loan program that has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
"The Obama administration has gotten into the business of picking winners and losers at a significant cost to taxpayers," said Thune. "From Fisker and Vehicle Production Group, to the Chinese-owned A123, this administration should not be making questionable investments with the American people's hard-earned money. I'm calling for the Senate to consider my amendment to eliminate the wasteful ATVM loan program and for my colleagues to join me in protecting taxpayer dollars from any future risky green energy investments."
In addition to Fisker, the DOE made a $50 million loan to the natural gas van manufacturer, Vehicle Production Group. After the company went bankrupt, the DOE auctioned off the taxpayer-backed loan for only $3 million, resulting in a substantial loss to the taxpayer.