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Sen. Murkowski: Post-Bankruptcy Auction Shows Folly of Stimulus Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following comment in the wake of the bankruptcy-induced auction of A123 Systems’ assets to a Chinese auto-parts maker.

“The results of this auction further expose the folly of the administration’s attempts to pick winners and losers, and provide huge subsidies to force the commercialization of technologies,” Murkowski said. “Congressional oversight of DOE spending, to ensure taxpayers are being protected, is one of my top priorities.”

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been supportive of the original loan guarantee program created by the Senate, which required recipients to pay their own credit subsidy. Murkowski has been an outspoken critic, however, of subsequent

Murkowski said the winning bid by the Wanxiang Group Corp. raises concerns about U.S.-funded technology being transferred to a foreign company.

“As with Solyndra and other failed ‘green’ firms, taxpayers already face a significant loss,” Murkowski said. “The real irony is that these assets were developed in part with stimulus money that the federal government borrowed from countries such as China. So now, not only do we have to pay that money back, we have also lost the technology we spent it on in the first place.”

A123 Systems is an advanced battery manufacturer based in Massachusetts. It received a $249 million stimulus grant from the Obama administration in 2009. When the company filed for bankruptcy in October 2012, it had reportedly drawn roughly $130 million of that grant.

“The administration has repeatedly claimed that so-called ‘green’ jobs can’t be outsourced,” Murkowski said. “What they neglected to tell us was that ownership can be.”

A123 Systems is just the latest in a long line of troubled taxpayer-enabled “green” ventures – some 34 companies and $7.5 billion to date.

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