Obama-Supporting Law Firm Advised on Failed Fisker Loan

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An international law firm, which gave substantial political donations to President Obama and fellow Democrats over the last three campaign cycles, received its own significant stimulus award to advise on a controversial Department of Energy loan transaction with a struggling electric vehicle manufacturer.

The firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, received $1,842,180 in Recovery Act funds to provide legal advice, conduct due diligence, and review documents for two loans from DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. One $529 million loan award was to Fisker Automotive to develop and produce two lines of electric vehicles, with plans to create 2,000 new jobs at a renovated General Motors plant in Delaware. After receiving $193 million under that loan, DOE halted payments to Fisker in May 2011 after it failed to reach milestones set out in the agreement. Work on renovations to the Delaware plant was suspended, and the company … Read More ➡

Chevy Volt Gas Savings: Myths and Reality

There has been much written and said about the operating costs of the Chevy Volt. Proponents and critics have both been a bit deceptive on claims about just how much the Volt can save or cost you by mostly running on an electric charge before switching to gas. Snopes.com gives a fairly accurate picture of the true fuel savings in a recent analysis.

First, it is important to recognize that true operating cost consists of depreciation, insurance and maintenance as well as energy consumption. The high cost of the Volt puts it at an immediate disadvantage to conventionally powered vehicles. Even after federal and state tax giveaways, the vehicle costs about $15,000 more than comparable gas-powered cars. It is unlikely that the car will hold much of its value considering that improvements should be made in alternate vehicle technology (thus making the Volt obsolete within years) and the battery is … Read More ➡

Modica Criticizes Tax Credits to GM Dealers Selling Chevy Volts to Gov’t

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EXCLUSIVE: GM Dealers Get Chevy Volt Tax Credit for Sales to Gov’t

IRS for 8936

I discovered an interesting fact while reviewing the 2011 IRS form 8936 used for the $7500 EV tax credit. While under most circumstances it is the wealthy purchasers of Chevy Volts and other high priced plug-in vehicles that get the taxpayer-funded handout, it appears that General Motors’ dealerships that sell the vehicles to government entities are benefiting by being able to claim the credits. These dealers are able to double-dip into the seemingly endless pool of taxpayer funds designated for cronies of the Obama Administration under the guise of green initiatives. Not only do taxpayers pay for Chevy Volts purchased by various government “units,” the sellers can claim the credits which were designed to help individuals be able to afford the costly vehicles.

The instructions for form 8936 state, “If you are the seller of a qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle to a tax-exempt organization, governmental unit, or a … Read More ➡

GE Steps Up Support for GM Chevy Volt Folly

Last week, Greencarreports.com reported that crony corporation, General Electric, will be purchasing only Chevy Volts for employee use. The move will help General Motors proclaim that the Volt is a success (and help ensure that GE sells more charging stations) as thousands of orders for the vehicle hit the books, conveniently timed to coincide with the run up to the 2012 presidential election.

The Volt has not caught on with the majority of consumers as the benefits of traveling 20 to 45 miles on an electric charge before getting about 30 miles per gallon on premium fuel do not outweigh the cost of over $40,000. The wealthy purchasers who have been able to afford the car defend the vehicle and proclaim it to be a technological wonder.

GM has had various unsubstantiated excuses for the low sales of the Volt ranging from lack of supply to a right wing conspiracy … Read More ➡

UAW Bonuses Add Insult to Injury

Last night, NLPC President Peter Flaherty criticized GM’s bonuses to United Auto Workers while the company is stil deep in the hole to taxpayers. He appeared on CNN’s Situation Room. Here’s a transcript:

Candy Crowley: New evidence that General Motors has made a big financial comeback after taxpayers bailed out the auto giant a few years ago. The company proudly announced it has posted record profits, but critics aren’t happy about the way GM is spending that money. Here’s our Lisa Sylvester.

Lisa Sylvester: Hi there, Candy. Well, all three U.S. automakers are back from the brink. GM had a very profitable year in 2011 with its North American operations. Now the question is, though, should those profits be shared with the workers, even though U.S. taxpayers are still on the hook for the company?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

Lisa Sylvester (voice-over): November 2008, the CEOs of the big three … Read More ➡

GM Pays Less Tax Than Buffett’s Secretary; UAW Gets Bonuses

General Motors reported year end earnings figures today. The company made about $9 billion dollars in 2011. How much of its “fair share” is GM paying in taxes? Zero. In fact, from GM’s financial report, they actually received a “benefit” of $110 million for the year. The UAW benefited as well, as they are set to receive $7,000 per worker in profit sharing bonuses.

The sweet tax deal GM receives was set up by the Obama Administration as the company was granted a multi-billion dollar tax credit for loss carry-overs when they exited their bankruptcy proceeding. Normally, the company would not have received the tax credit but the bankruptcy process was anything but normal. Creditors were put in the back of the line to protect UAW interests and tax code was changed so that GM could profit for years without paying its fair share in taxes. President Obama now campaigns … Read More ➡

After Layoffs, Execs Get Big Raises at Taxpayer-Funded A123

A123 logoA taxpayer-funded electric vehicle battery company, that is considered in great danger due to its dependency on troubled EV company Fisker Automotive, has awarded its top executives big salary increases despite a steep downward trajectory in its stock price.

Massachusetts-based A123 Systems — which received $279.1 million in stimulus money from the Department of Energy, and up to $135 million in incentives from the State of Michigan — boosted the base salaries of two vice presidents and its chief financial officer on February 8.

Chief Financial Officer David Prystash was bumped 27 percent to $380,000; VP of Energy Solutions Robert Johnson’s base salary increased 51 percent from his 2010 level to $400,000; and VP of Automotive Systems Jason Forcier saw his pay rise 32 percent from 2010, to $350,000. The news was first reported by the Boston Web site of Citybizlist.com, which obtained the information from an A123 SEC filingRead More ➡

LightSquared Fiasco Puts Harsh Spotlight on FCC’s Genachowski

Genachowski photoIn a major victory for the National Legal and Policy Center, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday reversed itself and revoked a controversial waiver it had granted LightSquared, which would have allowed the company to deploy a national wireless network. The reversal is not only a major setback for LightSquared’s billionaire owner Phil Falcone, but puts a harsh spotlight on the role of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

According to Cecelia Kang of the Washington Post Tech blog:

The FCC’s decision is expected to all but end LightSquared’s aspirations to provide mobile broadband services via satellite airwaves — a plan that was touted from its inception by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Under his tenure, the FCC granted the company a key conditional waiver in January 2011 that was meant to help fast-track the network.

A friend of President Obama’s from Harvard Law School, Genachowski has brought a culture of wheeling … Read More ➡

Integrity of Fisker Capital Funding is Questioned

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How did a start-up electric car company that raised more than $1 billion suddenly fail to meet government-lending standards, to the point where it can no longer draw on an awarded Department of Energy loan and has therefore halted renovation work on a Delaware plant?

 

That’s one curiosity about Fisker Automotive, a high-end manufacturer that apparently has burned through so much cash that it does not want to move forward with plans to produce an electric family sedan without the assurance that another $336 million will come forth from taxpayers. Despite having a reported $850 million in private investment and $193 million from that $529 million loan, Fisker laid off 65-or-so employees last week as DOE froze payments.

DOE’s action was attributed to Fisker’s failure to attain certain unidentified “milestones.” Fisker had projected the delivery of 15,000 Karmas in 2012, at a showroom cost of $102,000 for the … Read More ➡

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