The Inconvenient Truth Behind Fisker Funding Fiasco

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Al GoreThe wasteful and incomprehensible "green" energy policies of the Obama Administration continue to be exposed as a rip-off of American taxpayers. The latest insane venture involves hybrid auto start-up company, Fisker. While the story of Fisker receiving a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy has been widely reported, less known is the fact that green energy charlatan, Al Gore, may have played a key role in obtaining the loan.

Before we move on to Gore's involvement in the Fisker fiasco, let's review what taxpayers are paying for regarding the White House's so-called green car "investment." The Fisker Karma is expected to go about 30 miles on an electric charge and then gets only about 20 MPG. The car can go from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds and comes in at a price tag of $97,000. To add insult to taxpayer injury,  even though Fisker initially purchased a shuttered GM plant for $18 million where it says it will build a future line of vehicles, the current Karma line will be built in Finland.

When and if the Karma ever makes it to US showrooms, a $7,500 tax credit for every wealthy purchaser will be granted. If someone is both rich enough and foolish enough to pay $97,000 for a car that underperforms competing sports vehicles like the Porsche Panamera (which costs $20,000 less, does 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and gets 24 MPG), why in the world should taxpayers subsidize the purchase?! It is absolutely insane for our government to give American dollars to a company with a risky business plan to produce a car (in Finland) for the wealthy that does little to help our environment or economy and then give taxpayer money to wealthy purchasers to buy the cars!

So, why would the White House risk over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money on Fisker? ABC News reports that the major venture capital group for Fisker is Kleiner Perkins. It just so happens that politically connected Al Gore is a partner at the firm. As always, you can follow the money to see why our government arrogantly throws away taxpayer money on initiatives that do little or nothing to help America. Here's more from the ABC report, "Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, a California billionaire who made a fortune investing in Google, hosted President Obama at a February dinner for high-tech executives at his secluded estate south of San Francisco. Doerr and Kleiner Perkins executives have contributed more than $1 million to federal political causes and campaigns over the last two decades, primarily supporting Democrats. Doerr serves on Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness." The political pull of electric car maker, Tesla, which also received nearly half a billion dollars in DOE loans, was discussed in the report as well.

While wealthy cronies of elected officials contribute millions of dollars to those in office, Americans are bilked out of billions of dollars in payback. Charlatans like Al Gore act as if they are concerned with the environment as they become richer and jet around the world, hypocritically leaving a carbon footprint far exceeding that of any common American driving in a ten year old pick-up truck. While the leader of our nation preaches that the wealthy should "pay their fair share," the same philosophy does not seem to adhere for crony corporations like GE or GM; not to mention the rich folks buying $97,000 Karmas or $45,000 Chevy Volts who receive taxpayer funds to subsidize their purchases.

Americans should be furious at the arrogant taxpayer rip-off disguised as green energy initiatives with false promises of new jobs and foreign oil independence. About five years ago those in power refused to pursue domestic drilling for oil because it would take years to get the oil to market. Now they pursue policies to electrify America's auto fleet at the taxpayers' expense, a project that would take years, if ever, to be feasible while ignoring viable alternatives like natural gas or clean diesel vehicles. And when examined closer, the inconvenient truth is that green initiatives seem to be more about the green flowing to government cronies and back again to politicians in the form of campaign contributions. The American people should demand that congress investigate the wasteful crony policies of this administration and put a halt to future abuses, including unjustifiable electric car tax credits for the wealthy.

Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.