By Tom Gantert
Pushed by former Gov. Granholm, the state has four of the top eight stimulus-backed ‘green’ failures.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm often spoke of using “green energy” to turn around the state’s economy, but instead Michigan has become the epicenter of government-subsidized failures.
Four of the nation’s top eight “green energy” companies that have filed for bankruptcy had operations in Michigan and received state and federal subsidies.
The Heritage Foundation put together a list of the 19 federally supported green energy companies that filed for bankruptcy and Michigan was represented significantly.
The companies with Michigan operations included A123 Systems, Azure Dynamics, United Solar Ovonics and Evergreen Solar.
Federal, state and local governments were willing to put up as much as $874 million for those four companies, but they still could not avoid bankruptcy. The government aid figure includes tax credits, loans, loan guarantees, grants and other financial incentives, according to The Heritage Foundation.
The companies were part of President Barack Obama’s effort to stimulate the economy. Gov. Granholm also trumpeted many of the failed companies as big-time job creators.
“This week’s developments show that an economic strategy we devised five years ago is continuing to produce results,” Gov. Granholm said in a December 2009 speech announcing the Michigan companies receiving money from the federal stimulus program. “In that time, Michigan has invested more than $1 billion to help nurture the growth of green manufacturing in our state, from advanced batteries and electric vehicles to solar panels and wind turbines. … We want Michigan to be a center for advanced manufacturing and the jobs that come with it.”
It’s not dumb luck that Michigan has hosted some of the biggest green energy collapses.