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Energy Department loses $42M on clean-energy loan to Mich. van company
Question of the Day
The Energy Department conceded Friday that the federal government will lose $42 million on a loan to a shuttered Michigan van manufacturer — part of the same program that provided a $529 million loan to an electric car maker that also has gone under.
Vehicle Production Group (VPG), which made vans for the disabled, ceased operations in February and laid off 100 workers, two years after receiving a $50 million federal loan under the same clean-energy program that provided a $529 million loan to electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc., according to the Associated Press.
VPG had paid back $5 million of the $50 million federal loan this spring, and the remainder of its debt was sold at auction this week to Humvee manufacturer AM General, which paid $3 million to buy the loan.
In an email to AP, an Energy Department spokesman said sale of the VPG loan was the "best possible recovery for the taxpayer."
Fisker had received $192 million before federal officials froze the loan in 2011. The company has since laid off 75 percent of its workers, though the government has recovered only about $28 million of the money.
The losses come after federal government's failed risked on solar panel maker Solyndra, which went under in 2011 despite receiving more than $500 million from the Energy Department.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of a House Oversight subcommittee on economic growth and regulation, called the loan program "one of the most disastrously mismanaged and corrupt programs in U.S. history," AP reported.
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