Which company has gotten the most subsidies from the U.S. government? Would you believe it’s a Spain-based green energy company?
Iberdola has gotten $2.2 billion in subsidies to operate wind turbines across the U.S. — making it the largest recipient of federal corporate welfare, according to a report by the left-wing group Good Jobs First.
The company got billions in subsidies from the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package. Good Jobs First says “many of the wind farms it acquired or built [in the U.S.] have taken advantage of a provision in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Section 1603) that allows companies to receive cash payments in lieu of tax credits for the installation of renewable energy properties.”
But Iberdola is not the only foreign energy company to receive taxpayer dollars from the Obama administration. the report notes that “EDP-Energias de Portugal, which entered the U.S. wind market through its 2007 purchase of Horizon Wind Energy, has received more than $722 million in Section 1603 funds.”
Abengoa, a solar company with U.S. holdings, got “$605 million in grants and allocated tax credits,” according to GJF. “$464 million came from Section 1603 and most of the rest from Energy Department research grants.” In total the federal government has handed out more than $23 billion to U.S. and foreign green energy companies.
“The 50 parent companies receiving the most federal grants and allocated tax credits include 10 foreign based firms: two each from Germany and Spain and one each from Australia, China, France, Israel, Japan and Portugal. Nearly all are energy companies,” Good Jobs First reported.
“[A] large portion of the funds received by the foreign energy firms came from Recovery Act programs such as Section 1603,” the group added.
Good Jobs First is a partnership between left-wing groups: the Corporate Research Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute. Oddly enough, the report’s attack on subsidies to foreign companies align with complaints by conservative politicians.
Republican lawmakers have criticized the Obama administration for subsidizing energy projects backed by foreign companies. In 2013, house Republicans put out a report claiming that nearly $4 billion of Section 1603 green energy grants went to a handful of large European and Asian renewable energy companies.
“Billions of dollars have filled the coffers of overseas firms while the evidence of the promised permanent jobs and economic growth here in the United States is scarce,” Republicans said in their report. “With these grants, foreign companies appear to have unduly benefited from a program ostensibly aimed at stimulating the U.S. economy, growing American businesses, and creating U.S. jobs.”
Republican attacks didn’t stop with green energy companies. Lawmakers also criticized the Obama administration’s failed loans to automakers and battery companies — these subsidized companies were then sold off to Chinese investors at a huge loss.
“In 2009, Secretary Chu promised American taxpayers that a $528.7 million conditional loan for Fisker Automotive would create or save 5,000 jobs,” Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The height of Fisker’s employment barely reached over 200 employees,” Blackburn added. “The only thing worse than these continued broken promises and lack of accountability from this administration is that yet another company that received taxpayer funding will be sold to China’s Wanxiang Group.”
“It’s time for this administration to start working for taxpayers instead of playing venture capitalist for foreign investors,” said Blackburn.
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