Battery maker A123 Systems just declared bankruptcy after receiving a $249 million federal grant. Believe it or not, there's a silver lining here.
And there goes another one.
After publicly wobbling for months, A123 Systems, the electric-car battery manufacturer that received a $249 million federal grant, has declared bankruptcy. Thus, it can be added to a small but growing graveyard of failed companies supported by President Obama's green energy initiative, right alongside Beacon Power, Abound Solar, EnerDel, and the most controversial of all, Solyndra.
Americans will almost certainly be hearing about A123 during tonight's presidential debate. Last time around, Mitt Romney memorably, if not exactly accurately, wrote off the Obama administration's attempts to foster green industries when he quipped, "You don't just pick the winners and losers -- you pick the losers." In fact, dozens of companies have received loan guarantees and grants from the Department of Energy as part the $90 billion in stimulus funding dedicated to green power. About $813 million actually went to the handful that went bust, according to Reuters. But that won't help the politics of it. Romney's point sounds true enough, even if it's a gross simplification.