This Failed Alternative Energy Plant Only Cost You $70 Million

Posted by on Jan 05, 2012 at 7:51 am
Burning money candle

More good news from the alternative energy front. An ethanol producing plant has gone belly up in Georgia and it only cost us $70 million in taxpayer dollars. Well technically $64 million for all you slubs that send your money to the feds, the extra $6 million was reserved for those Georgia residents who pay taxes.

Range Fuels, the failed wood-to-ethanol factory in southeastern Georgia that cost taxpayers $70 million, was sold Tuesday for pennies on the dollar. Its buyer is a company that is backed by the same man who bankrolled and helped secure government loans for Range Fuels before it went bust last year.

Don’t you worry though, the government is ready to spend more of your money to make this fantasy world filled with alternative energy sources a reality.

The Range fiasco harkens other, failed renewable energy companies that received major taxpayer funding. California solar panel maker Solyndra got $535 million in federal loan guarantees. Beacon Power of Massachusetts, which makes energy-storage equipment, took in $43 million in federal money. Both filed for bankruptcy last year.

I am all for developing alternative energy sources, but not to point that we think they are going to replace rather then supplement existing sources and continuing to sink millions of taxpayer dollars into technology, that is in it’s infancy with a very poor track record simply doesn’t make sense, but as PT Barnum said, “a sucker is born every minute.”

The Bush administration’s Energy Department steered a $76 million federal grant to Range. The Department of Agriculture followed up with an $80 million loan guarantee. Georgia officials pledged $6.2 million. Treutlen County, one of the state’s poorest, offered 20 years worth of tax abatements and 97 acres in its industrial park.

Private investors reportedly put up $158 million. In all, the project raised more than $320 million.

Range, unable to turn wood into ethanol, closed its doors a year ago. It never came close to creating the 70 jobs once promised.

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