Empower Wisconsin | Jan. 20, 2021
By Stephen Moore, Townhall
With Democrats about to control all the levers of power in Washington, the biggest winners might be the wind and solar companies. These firms’ stocks continue to surge mostly because President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to invest several hundred billion dollars in green energy through a pipeline of taxpayer-funded grants, loans, tax credits and loan guarantees.
This game plan looks suspiciously like a replay of the litany of green “stimulus” fiascoes that Biden piloted as vice president back in 2009 with the $800 billion Obama stimulus plan. The experiment in the government as an investment banker belly-flopped with embarrassing failures from Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and Abound Solar. Taxpayers lost billions of dollars on these lemons.
One of these disasters, the Crescent Dunes thermal solar power plant, located in the Nevada desert, is still embroiled in court battles to sort out who pays for all the losses. The Obama administration first started showering this project with money beginning in 2011, with a $700 million federal loan. The Department of Energy boasted that the facility was supposed to provide half a million megawatt-hours of electric power every year. Not quite.
Thanks to construction design flaws, faulty equipment and hapless management, Crescent Dunes has never come close to its production target. Then, in 2017, Crescent Dunes came knocking on Treasury’s door again, this time receiving $275 million in cash grants instead of tax credits on top of $250 million in private capital. Even with this second round of life support, the plant had to shut down. Last month, the bankruptcy court approved the entire operation’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan.
Read more at Townhall.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy.”