More Green Fail: A123 Down the Slipper Slope to Bankruptcy

Russ Steele

Remember all those hybrids on the way to a spontaneous road side or a garage fire?  It appears some may of had some bad batteries. The MIT Technology Review has some of the details:

The financial numbers are pointing in the wrong direction for lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, a company founded 10 years ago based on technology developed at an MIT lab. 

In its most recent quarter, A123 posted a net loss of $125 million, $40 million more than it lost in the previous quarter. It only brought in $11 million in revenue, down from $40 million in the previous quarter and $18 million a year ago. Meanwhile, its cash is dwindling, down from $187 million at the end of last year to $113 million at the end of the first quarter of this year. The situation is so bad that A123’s auditors have expressed doubt about the company’s ability to stay afloat as a “going concern.”

A123’s poor performance is due largely to the fact that it has to replace a large number of defective battery packs it sold to customers last year. Although these costs will be incurred over a few quarters, A123’s accountants lumped all the battery replacement costs together in this earnings statement. Even without its warranty issues, however, A123 might still be struggling. Its manufacturing costs are high, so the company loses money on every battery it sells. It loses as much as 57 cents per dollar of revenue from its sales to one customer, estimates Andrea James, an analyst for Dougherty.

You can read the rest of the story HERE.

Another green company that cannot survive without government subsidies to pick up the tab and the government is broke.  What next? Wind powered cars?

Sacramento Cannot Stop Spending Even When the Wallet is Empty

Russ Steele

California is $16 billion in the hole, but our spendthrift political leaders want to waste $3.5 million a day building a high speed rail that no one will ride, and is really not high speed over 1/4 of the route. It will cost less in time and money to fly.  The LA Times has the construction story:

If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law.

The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included — the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts.

Over four years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority would need as many as 120 permits, mostly from a tangle of government regulatory agencies not known to rush their business. It would need to acquire about 1,100 parcels of land, many from powerful agriculture interests that have already threatened to sue. And it would need to assemble five teams of contractors with giant workforces positioned from Fresno to Bakersfield, moving millions of tons of gravel, steel rail and heavy equipment across the valley.

What could possibly go wrong with this massively expensive boondoggle?  This is exactly the sort of thing that will insure we become a bankrupt ward of the Federal government.  The eventual cost of the project will be $98 billion!  We cannot afford a crippled high speed rail that no one will ride?  Time to throw out the big spenders!

Van Jones Cops a Plea | Power Line

Russ Steele

My friend George Rebane has made the point multiple times on this blog that the AGW movement was more about politics than science, and here is more proof. 

A sharp-eyed Power Line reader directed us to this C-SPAN video featuring Van Jones, President Obama’s short-lived “green jobs” czar, admitting around the 19:14 mark what is plain to anyone who pays attention, namely, that the environmental movement is basically an adjunct of the Democratic Party:

“I’m critical of myself, first, and the environmentalists.  When the oil spill had happened in the spring of 2010, there was another moment to say, ‘Hold on a second, let’s relook at energy policy in America.  Should we be subsidizing companies who are risking our health immediately and in the long-term?’” We didn’t do it. You’ve never seen the environmental movement more quiet during an oil spill. I guarantee you, if John McCain had been President, with that oil spill, or George Bush had been President with that oil spill, I’d have been out there with a sign protesting. I didn’t, because of who the President was.  Well, that’s a bad, uh, uh…that’s not good for the earth, it’s not good for the cause, it’s probably not good for the President. It’s certainly not the way we should conduct ourselves. And so, I’m very tough on progressive movements and leaders, including myself, who did not stand on principle, based upon who we looked across and saw as President.”

via Van Jones Cops a Plea | Power Line.