When Barack Obama ran for the office of president in 2008, he promised to create a minimum of five million new green related jobs. Since illegally occupying the Oval Office, he has pushed the Department of Energy to give grants and government guaranteed loans to numerous green technology firms. The last I knew, the loans and grants have been totaling into the billions of taxpayer dollars.
The results of Obama’s green job and green energy push has been highlighted by the failure of firms such as Solyndra. Many other government assisted green companies have been financially struggling to avoid having to close their doors.
Facing financially challenging times, one would expect these companies to be streamlining in every way possible, but that is not necessarily the case. It seems that some of the green companies have followed the example of insurance giant AIG who took millions of stimulus dollars to avoid collapsing and then turned around and paid their top executives higher salaries plus giving them bonuses.
In a report from Scribe Heritage Investments green company Ecotality is one of those struggling green companies that took $141 million from the DOE. Even though they reported a loss of $22.5 million they turned around and gave their executive and director a 50% raise in pay.
SHI’s report also noted that First Solar has received around $1.5 billion in DOE stimulus backed loans. Evidently the loans were not enough to maintain the company’s value and their stocks fell by 30% and they are now laying off 2,000 employees. At the same time the company’s value started its tailspin, their CEO earned $32 million in salary and bonuses.
But wait, there’s more.
A123, a company that provides advanced batteries and electrical storage systems also admits that it is dependent on government money to keep its operations on track. In 2009, their stock priced out at $25.77 per share and at the of time of writing this report it prices out less than $1 per share despite receiving about $250 million in DOE funding. While their stocks were plummeting, the top four executives all received an average of a 20% increase in their base salary and several of them have seen additional increases this year. The company has also awarded their top five executives 1, 210,000 shares of company stock collectively.
Obama’s silence on the salaries and bonuses of his pet green companies speaks volumes to his one-sided favoritism. He appeared irate when he learned of AiG’s bonuses to their top execs saying,
“How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”
But when it comes to the green industry that he had hoped would be a shining example of his success, we never hear any harsh words or criticism from the Oval Office. Apparently it’s okay for some industries to play by these questionable rules, but not okay for others. The old adage – it’s all about who you know – has never been more truer than it is today with the Obama administration.