When the true history of Barack Obama's "Recovery Act" comes to light there will be many tales of wasted taxpayer dollars, faulty workmanship, bailouts to union allies, and scams and schemes that benefit Democrats and their donors. We already have some insight from "green schemes" going belly up and taking taxpayers down the drain with them. Now we have a new revelation: Obama's Department of Energy used stimulus funding to fund an electric battery company-Ener1- that actually did create some cutting-edge technology before declaring bankruptcy.
But now, a Russian tycoon tied to the dictatorship has taken control of this company and its technology -- some of which has military potential. Vice-President Joe Biden has praised federal funding for Ener1 and said this the question was "which nation is going to seize the future." The answer seems to be Russia -- thanks to the Obama administration incompetency.
Boris Zingarevich was an investor in Ener1 when Obama's team gave it over $100 million dollars and when the company went bankrupt he seized control through the bankruptcy process. Now the technology-develop with taxpayer dollars-is freely available to Vladimir Putin and company thanks to Barack Obama and company.
Julie Wernau reports for the Chicago Tribune:
The company tapped the country's top scientists at Argonne National Lab in Illinois, and U.S. taxpayers pledged up to $118 million in federal stimulus funds and $80 million in state and local incentives to help Ener1 produce cutting-edge battery technology for electric cars and the U.S. military.A little more than a year after Biden's visit to Ener1's Indiana manufacturing plant, the company's technology is owned outright by Boris Zingarevich, a Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fact that concerns some technology experts in the U.S.
Zingarevich acquired Ener1 out of bankruptcy March 30 with an agreement to infuse $81 million in financing, giving him a sophisticated line of batteries that can power electric cars, store electricity for power grids and supply portable power for soldiers.In the case of Ener1, neither the Department of Energy nor the Navy checked on foreign ownership before awarding the company grants and research and development contracts. The Army, which also awarded contracts, said individual employees underwent routine background checks as contractors, but scrutinizing the company's ownership structure was not part of its purview.
Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns in investigating the matter. He notes "Instead of producing thousands of 'clean energy' jobs, the administration's loan guarantee and grant programs are yielding bankruptcies and the squandering of taxpayer dollars. Only two days after President Obama highlighted federal investments in high-tech batteries in his State of the Union address earlier this year, Ener1 joined Solyndra, Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt and AES in bankruptcy - all recipients of taxpayer dollars."
What makes the Ener1 case even worse is now our Russian adversaries will be the beneficiaries of our problems.