Obama touts another green company in State of the Union. It immediately goes bankrupt.


Perhaps President Obama should stop talking about green energy companies. 

Every time he does, it seems, they go bankrupt.

It happened again today, according to Bloomberg/Businessweek.

Just two days after Obama touted his adminstration's green energy programs, Ener1, an electric battery maker that received a $118 million grant from the US Department of Energy, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Here's what President Obama said Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, in reference to Ener1:

“In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries."

And here's what Bloomberg/Businessweek is reporting about today's news:

The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in court papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.

According to an Energy Department statement cited by The Hill:

“While it’s unfortunate that Ener1, the parent company, has entered a restructuring process, the new infusion of $80 million in private capital demonstrates that the technology has merit,” Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said in a statement.

This is the second high-profile embarrassment for the Obama administration's plans to support the US alternative energy industry.

More green energy coverage from GlobalPost: Powerland, adventures in urban energy

Solar panel maker Solyndra, which received $535 million in government loan guarantees, went bankrupt in September.

Don't expect a strategy shift away from green energy, though.

During the State of the Union speech, President Obama made the following promise:

“Payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy."

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

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