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Dead Battery: Furloughed Workers in an Obama Green Energy Factory

Written by Gary North on October 12, 2012

The Obama Administration’s Department of Energy put up $150 million to help fund a company that promised to produce batteries for the Chevy Volt car. You know: the hybrid car produced by the federally bailed-out General Motors company.

Problem: Nobody wants to buy Chevy Volts. So, Chevrolet is not ordering batteries.

So far, the plant has produced a grand total of zero batteries.

The workers have been placed on a rotating bases. They work three weeks per month.

The factory was opened in July 2010.

The batteries could also be used in Ford’s hybrid car, the Focus. Problem: nobody wants a Focus, either.

Call this a short circuit.

The federal government subsidizes duds. That’s because non-duds are funded by investors.

The factory is big: 300,000 square feet. It cost $300 million to build. It is designed to produce 15,000 batteries per year.

Hold it! It took a $300 million initial investment to build a facility that can produce a piddly 15,000 batteries a year. That’s under 300 per week.

Meanwhile, GM buys the few batteries it needs from the firm’s plant in South Korea.

The company also received subsidies of $50 million in property tax relief for 15 years, plus reductions in business taxes of $2.5 million a year.

Here were President Obvam’a stirring words when the factory was launched.

“You are leading the way in showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America. Our goal has never been to create a government program, but rather to unleash private-sector growth. And we’re seeing results.”


The workers who get laid off one week in four then collect unemployment insurance from the state.

Such a deal!

This is what the government-business partnership is all about: sticking it to taxpayers good and hard.

Continue Reading on www.foxnews.com

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7 thoughts on “Dead Battery: Furloughed Workers in an Obama Green Energy Factory

  1. I really like the looks of the Chevy Volt. If it were gutted and fitted with a 6 speed automatic transmission and a 370 hp gasoline engine, that got 25 mpg, I'd buy one.

    I guess when GM goes down for the last time next year, some entrepreneur will buy the dead Volts, fit them with Cruze drivetrains, and sell them the same way DeLoreans are now sold.

  2. Neither of the vehicles are worth what they are asking for them First off , the Bodies and frames are made of the thinest materials they could buy and therefore making the cars more of a sfety hazzard than the "Corvair". They would not even draw a decent price for scrap metal. Next, the Batteries are not anywhere near affordable to the owner of the vehicle and also, they do not have the "Life" that they are purported to have…(Check out Consumer Report Magazine) . Having a factory that cost $300 Million, and only produce 15,000 batteries a YEAR???? Now, That's what I call A waste!! Oh yeah, and we are creating jobs with it…as we (the tax payer) pay for their time of being Rotationally …UNEMPLOYED (with FULL unemployment benfits) . YAAAY.!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Doesn't seem to matter to the general public or congress as nothing is done about it. When are we going to say enough all ready? I would rather the government say "Look we made a mistake and we are going to correct it!" than ignore it and continue thinking they are pulling the wool over our eyes.

  4. It's a shame, because oil increasingly comes from countries that hate the Western world.

    And we still have no real substitute for oil in transportation.

    Electricity is the cheapest and most efficient way to move a vehicle (95% efficient electric motor vs. 25% efficient gasoline engine).

    But battery packs remain so expensive only folks who are willing to spend nearly $40,000 on a sedan can afford an electric car.

  5. Jeffrey Woodin says:

    The article says >>Problem: Nobody wants to buy Chevy Volts. <<

    WRONG. So far 29,430 Volts (and Ampera) have been sold, and that number now grows monthly by over 2,800. This year alone GM will most likely sell over 24,000 Volts alone, PLUS another 10,000 Amerpa (the European version) in Europe (that would total 34,000 "Volts" for just 2012). That is better than a LOT of gas powered cars. What is this "Nobody wants to buy Chevy Volts" BS? The Volt is also ahead of where the Prius was after it first came out, Toyota went on to sell over 2.6 million Prius so far.

    >>The batteries could also be used in Ford’s hybrid car, the Focus. Problem: nobody wants a Focus, either.<<

    WRONG (or very misleading). The Ford Focus Electric only went on sale to retail customers in May. I love how these guys know "nobody wants a Focus" either when the car has only been on sale a few months!! Dumb.

    Oh, and gas is now over $4.00 and in California closing in on $6.00 a gallon in some areas. Hello?? It's pretty clear "burning gasoline" is not the only answer for our future.

    >>The federal government subsidizes duds. That’s because non-duds are funded by investors.<<

    Gee, the article also fails to mention OIL INDUSTRY "subsidies". Here is an article, based on numbers from Taxpayers For Common Sense (http://www.taxpayer.net/) that says "With more than $55 billion in targeted benefits for the industry and nearly $23 billion in general business subsidies, it’s nothing to sneeze at." http://grist.org/energy-policy/2011-07-29-we-can-

    $78 BILLION is subsidies for "Big Oil"?? Love how all these free market guys who complain, but then AREN'T for the "free market" when it comes to OIL. Oh, and "The oil, gas, and coal industries have spent over $2 billion lobbying Congress since 1999. These three industries combined spent a whopping $543 million on lobbying in 2009 and the first two quarters of 2010." http://grist.org/politics/2010-09-27-oil-companie
    …..maybe that's how they got all those tax breaks the rest of us have to pay, and all those "special accounting rules"?? And those are tax breaks electric companies, electric motor manufacturers and battery makers DON'T get.

    Hey, in a perfect world there would be no battery plants helped by the "Department of Energy". But in a perfect world the oil companies would not get tens of BILLIONS of dollars in "subsidies" either. All these "Mr. Free Market" guys turn into "The Invisible Man" when you bring up oil company subsidies. The "Department of Defence" also now spends $700 BILLION a year on defense, a good chunk of which is spent to make sure we have access to world OIL. Hummm, I don't see any articles on TeapartyEconomist.com about that.

    Here is a video with conservative Lee Spieckerman to check out, on Fox News no less!! Enjoy…
    "Can the Chevy Volt help win the War on Terror?" http://video.foxnews.com/v/1529856944001/can-the-

    “I don’t see what’s so conservative about wanting to send $35 billion a year to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela for his oil or to send $70 billion to Middle Eastern OPEC countries.  I don’t see how that’s conservative…. The Chevy Volt is by far the best way to bring all American energy … to our  automobiles….  It is the safest car on the road.”

  6. Jeffrey Woodin says:

    Funny too, the article does not even mention where the plant is. It's in Holland, Michigan by the way. The article also fails to mention its a LG Chem plant (they also put up half the money). They have other automotive supply deals with Hyundai, China-based Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., Renault, plus three other automakers for a total of eight, by the way. The plant should be able to produce enough cells per year to build between 50,000 and 200,000 battery packs for electric cars AND hybrids (which we are seeing more and more of, like the new just-released Ford Fusion Hybrid (with an amazing combined 47MPG) and the new Ford C-MAX Energi (that gets 100MPGe, and a 20 mile AER (all-electric-range)).

    Every major car maker has now brought an electric car to market, or will very shortly. Despite the slow start this plant will be making batteries, lots of them.

    Oh, and a couple more fun facts: Jay Leno has gone 18,000 miles in his Volt and burned only 12 gallons of gas, with no problems. And electric cars only use about 3 cents worth of electricity per mile, MUCH cheaper than using gasoline. As battery prices and the cost to buy an electric car continues to drop (and the cost of gas continues to rise) watch sales of EV's rise, dramatically.

    ** Note to History: There will never again be a time when a major auto maker is not building some kind of electric car. **

  7. A lot of what is being pushed as ‘green’ technology is turning out to not be ‘green’, they’re just using it as an advertising come-on. Unless you drive hybrid cars really, really slow, your savings aren’t all that much, because you’re losing efficiency: instead of gasoline driving the wheels, the gasoline is generating power, the power goes to a battery, the battery goes to an electric motor, and you’re losing efficiency at every step along the way.

    Plus when you add in the greenhouse gases that will be produced by the manufacture of those batteries it turns out not to be environmentally friendly at all.