Energy-backed firms award bonuses, file bankruptcy

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Congressional critics cited Fisker’s bankruptcy filing as “yet another sad chapter” in DOE’s portfolio. “The jobs that were promised never materialized and, once again, taxpayers are on the hook for the administration’s reckless gamble,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-MI, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, R-PA, said last week.

Others who closely scrutinize green energy spending say the Fisker bankruptcy, combined with the other failings, spotlight larger questions about the role of government in financing start-up ventures with public money.

“I think structurally there were challenges right from the outset,” said Doug Koplow, founder of Earth Track, a consulting firm that tracks energy subsidies.

For years, Koplow has raised questions about the way DOE allocates taxpayer money. “I’m not surprised to see some of these things go bankrupt,” he said. “I think it would be inevitable.”