From Solyndra to Nevada Geothermal?

It looks like there will be more financial bleeding of federal tax money for green energy projects. As if the bankruptcy of the ill-fated Solyndra solar plant weren’t enough, now a government-backed geothermal plant in Nevada seems headed for insolvency.

According to a report in The New York Times, Nevada Geothermal Power is struggling with debt as sales from its output of power fail to cover its operating costs. Its own auditor concluded there was “significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

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Nevada Geothermal has received a federal government loan guarantee of $79 million, in addition to $66 million in federal grants. At least taxpayers can take solace in the fact that they’re on the hook for only $145 million, rather than the $528 million lost on the Solyndra boondoggle.

One has to wonder if the funding of these two green energy projects was due to the ineptitude of U.S. Department of Energy officials, or if they were just responding to political pressure to give these risky projects the green light. In either case, top officials at the Department of Energy should be fired.

The house of cards built on the foundation of green energy ideology is collapsing. The Obama administration and Congress should immediately cease and desist wasting taxpayer money on green energy projects (congressional “super committee,” take note). Some of these projects may merit funding, but those investments should be made by private investors risking their own money — not a political class spending someone else’s money with little or no repercussions when projects fail. 

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