By Doug Book, staff writer
Just when you thought crony handouts of taxpayer millions couldn’t get much worse than the White House managed Solyndra debacle, along comes the story of global warming shyster Al Gore and fledgling, plug-in hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive, Inc.
In 2009, Gore happened to be at an event hosted by the California venture capital firm of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers. Of course, Al happened to be there because he is a PARTNER in the firm.
Well low and behold, Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker just happened to be there too and pitched Gore on the virtues of his 50 mile-per-battery-charged, $89,500 Karma luxury sedan. And Al, we are told, immediately handed Fisker a deposit for a new Karma motor car…green, probably.
For as we all know, Gore believes that “…a global shift of the automobile fleet toward electric vehicles, accompanying a shift toward renewable-energy generation, represents an important part of a sensible strategy for solving the climate crisis.” Or so Al’s spokeswoman says. Later on she’ll explain how his well publicized fleet of Chevy Suburbans and Tahoes lends itself to that sensible strategy.
Well the Wall Street Journal tells us that Gore’s venture capital firm of Kleiner, Perkins was already a big investor in Fisker Automotive.
Equally surprising and unexpected is the fact that employees of the firm had donated some $2.2 million to “political campaigns”, “…including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
So when Fisker Automotive applied to the Department of Energy for a loan, in April of 2010 it walked away with $529 million taxpayer dollars, scored from a $25 billion fund Congress had established to help automakers meet legislative mandates for fuel economy.
According to the Journal story, Matt Rogers, Department of Energy Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu was asked if Gore had any influence on the Fisker application. “None at all,” replied Rogers.
Certainly settles that question, doesn’t it!
Now it should come as quite a relief to nervous taxpayers that “…DOE officials spent months working with Fisker on its application, touring its Irvine, California and Pontiac, Michigan facilities and test-driving prototypes.”
In the Solyndra case, Department employees only spent a year or so sitting in on Board meetings, reviewing business models and profit and loss statements. The “unforeseen” bankruptcy and loss of $535 million tax dollars probably occurred because they didn’t have anything to drive.
Other auto companies which derived loans from the DOE make their vehicles in the United States. Fisker, however, will be making their cars in Finland…that is, when Fisker actually gets around to making them.
For it seems the Fisker Karma–now priced at $95,000–was originally promised to buyers in November of 2009. Then it was September of 2010. That date was pushed back to the first quarter of 2011 and then to July 2011.
Anyhow, here’s wishing Fisker all the best. And should the company decide to move its American taxpayer financed manufacturing operation to the United States, rest assured the United Auto Workers will lend a helping hand.
Of course, with that sort of help, Fisker would need another loan, wouldn’t it!
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This day in history September 18
1850: A Democratic Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act which required the return of escaped slaves to their owners under penalty of law.
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