Human Events Blog

Your “green energy” disaster of the day: Compact Power

Your “green energy” disaster of the day: Compact Power

It’s the perfect example of Obamanomics: a Michigan battery plant owned by Compact Power, Inc., built with $150 million in taxpayer cash to produce batteries for the massively taxpayer-subsidized Chevy Volt, but has never actually produced a single Volt battery.  Now its workers are being “placed on rotating furloughs, working only three weeks per month based on lack of demand for lithium-ion cells,” according to Fox News.  And they’re eligible to collect unemployment benefits during those furloughs.

Obama touted this plant in 2010 (two whole “Recovery Summers” ago!) as evidence that “manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States.”  At the ground-breaking ceremony, he said “Our goal has never been to create a government program, but rather to unleash private-sector growth. And we’re seeing results.”

Stop laughing.  It’s not funny.  It cost you a ton of money.  How many teachers would $150 million have hired?  That’s four months of PBS subsidies.

The huge factory was supposed to create gazillions of jobs, but only 200 people work there.  The miniscule demand for Volt batteries is mostly satisfied from South Korea.  But remember, Obama is a sworn enemy of “offshoring.”

Look on the bright side: the Obama economy is all about replacing full-time jobs with part-time work.  We’re supposed to be happy about the September unemployment report, right?  And those rather odd numbers showed a huge surge in part-time hiring.  Now we’ve got a taxpayer-subsidized factory filled with people who work three weeks a month, producing nothing.  Perfect!

So what are those 200 people doing in the haunted recesses of this Obamanomics mausoleum, besides rotating their furloughs?

Randy Boileau, a spokesperson for LG Chem in Holland, told FoxNews.com that battery production is expected to pick up once Volt assembly lines in Detroit resume production on Oct. 15. He said the facility has spent the past two years building infrastructure and conducting pre-production “test runs.”

“The market conditions haven’t been as favorable, but this hasn’t slowed down plans one bit,” Boileau said. “LG Chem has repeatedly said that this facility is a critical component for them globally.”

Boileau pointed out the workers who are on furloughs one week a month are eligible to collect unemployment for that week, and he said the company covers the contributions to their individual benefits during the period.

(Emphasis mine.)  Incidentally, that reference to Boileau’s location means Holland, Michigan, not the wooden-shoes Holland.  Never fear, this tax-subsidy sponge is not owned by a company based out of the Netherlands.  No, they’re owned by a company based out of South Korea.

But don’t worry, it will all pay off when Volt sales surge, right after Obama gets gas up to eight or nine bucks a gallon.  Isn’t command economics wonderful?

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