Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Obama-Picked, Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Company Goes Bankrupt

Today, Taxpayer-Backed A123 Systems, A Maker Of Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries For Electric Cars, Filed For Bankruptcy. “A123 Systems Inc. (AONE), a maker of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, filed for bankruptcy after failing to make a debt payment that was due yesterday. The company listed assets of $459.8 million and debt of $376 million as of Aug. 31 in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Chapter 11 is the section of the Bankruptcy Code used by companies to reorganize.” (Dawn McCarty and Craig Trudell, “Electric Car Battery Maker A123 Systems Files Bankruptcy Papers,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/16/12)


In April 2010, Obama Touted A123 Systems As One Of The “Success Stories” From The Stimulus. OBAMA: “Last August, following a nationwide competition among America’s clean-energy technology leaders, Vice President Biden traveled to Michigan to announce that A123 was one of the 48 companies to win a Recovery Act grant for advanced battery technology. That grant helped A123 hire 44 new workers. And that grant is supporting the construction of three new plants in the state of Michigan, which A123 expects will allow it to hire more than 120 workers by the end of this year, more than 1,000 by the end of next year, and more than 3,000 by the end of 2012. Two of those workers, James Fenton and Nino Biundo, are here today. They lost their previous jobs in the recession. And then 123 — A123 hired them both to help manufacture the batteries of tomorrow. A123 has already begun construction on one facility in the city of Livonia, which is scheduled to go online in July, and they’ve begun designing a facility in the city of Romulus. And they’ve announced plans to build their first high-volume factory in Brownstown. So truth be told, A123 was looking to build that factory in Asia. But because it received that grant, it chose the state of Michigan for its largest and most innovative plant yet. And that plant will be one of 30 new plants to go fully operational over the next six years manufacturing electric vehicle batteries and components right here in the United States of America. So this is what’s possible in a clean-energy economy — these folks right here, doing extraordinary work. This is what happens when we place our bets on American workers and American businesses. And we’re going to continue working to help them manufacture more success stories like these across all sectors of our economy.” (President Barack Obama, Statement By The President On The Economy And The Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico, Washington, DC, 4/30/10)

In July 2010, Obama Promises Plants Like A123 Systems’ In Michigan “Will Put Thousands Of People To Work.” OBAMA: “These plants will put thousands of people to work. This includes folks who were working at a couple of facilities being built in Michigan by another battery technology company called A123. And in every case, we’ve been guided by a simple idea — government can’t generate the jobs or growth we need by itself, but what government can do is lay the foundation for small businesses to expand and to hire, for entrepreneurs to open up shop and test new products, for workers to get the training they need for the jobs of the 21st century, and for families to achieve some semblance of economic security. So our goal has never been to create a government program but rather to unleash private sector growth, and we are seeing results.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President On Investing In Clean Energy , Holland, MI, 7/15/10)

In September 2010, Obama Phoned In A “Congratulations” To A123 Systems, Recipient Of A $249 Million Recovery Act Grant. “This morning, President Barack Obama called A123 Systems from the Oval Office to congratulate them on opening the nation’s first manufacturing facility to mass-produce electric vehicle batteries. Today’s plant opening was made possible by a $249 million Recovery Act advanced battery grant the company received last August, an award the company matched dollar-for-dollar with private capital.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President In A Phone Call To Recovery Act Advanced Battery Grant Recipient, A123 Systems in Livonia, MI , Washington, DC, 9/13/10)

In September 2010, Obama Said A123 Would “Power The American Economy For Years To Come.” OBAMA: “But most of all, I want to congratulate and thank all the men and women of A123 Systems. You guys are making us proud. The work you’re doing will help power the American economy for years to come. And so everybody there should just feel very, very good about what you guys are doing. And I am looking forward to continuing to see the great work that you guys do in the years to come.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President In A Phone Call To Recovery Act Advanced Battery Grant Recipient, A123 Systems in Livonia, MI , Washington, DC, 9/13/10)

In July 2011, Obama Touted A123 Systems As A Job-Creating Company With Soaring Demand For Its Vehicle Components. OBAMA: “As these companies look for ways to boost efficiency, they’ll be conducting research and development on test tracks. They’re going to look to startups working on biofuels and new engine technologies. They’re going to continue to invest in advanced battery manufacturing. They’re going to spur growth in clean energy. And that means new jobs in cutting-edge industries all across America. I’ll give you a couple of examples. There’s a company called Celgard in North Carolina that’s expanding its production line to meet demand for advanced batteries. And they’ve hired 200 employees and they’re adding 250 more. There’s A123, a clean-energy manufacturer in Michigan that just hired its 1,000th worker as demand has soared for its vehicle components. Companies like these are taking root and putting people to work in every corner of the country. ” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President On Fuel Efficiency Standards , Washington, DC, 7/29/11)

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