Obama’s Investment in Ener1 Paid Off for Russia

During his State of the Union speech President Obama touted the taxpayer “investment” into the green battery company Ener1. He said “In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries.” Two days later the company filed for bankruptcy. If it’s not bad enough that US taxpayers lost millions of dollars, there are also national security implications.

The company tapped the country’s top scientists at Argonne National Lab in Illinois, and U.S. taxpayers pledged up to $118 million in federal stimulus funds and $80 million in state and local incentives to help Ener1 produce cutting-edge battery technology for electric cars and the U.S. military.

“This is about the future. And the question is which nation is going to seize the future. Some nation is going to grab it by the throat. One of the nations of the world is going to lead the world in green energy and technology,” Vice President Joe Biden said in January 2011 in a speech praising federal support for Ener1 at its facility in Indiana.

That nation, it turns out, is Russia.

A little more than a year after Biden’s visit to Ener1’s Indiana manufacturing plant, the company’s technology is owned outright by Boris Zingarevich, a Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fact that concerns some technology experts in the U.S. (Read More)

In a video report accompanying the above article, the reporter described Zingarevich as a Russian oligarch who holds great sway over the Russian government. Zingarevich was already a huge investor in Ener1, which is something the Obama administration was surely aware of. Russia was also one of Ener1’s biggest customers. Now the Russians can possibly use these “intelligent” batteries to track the locations of US troops.

According to American Thinker, Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns is investigating this matter. I certainly hope he’s not the only one. Perhaps he won’t be, as American Crossroads issued the following statement today:

Following on the heels of President Obama’s claim that he would have “more flexibility” on foreign policy deals with Russia after winning re-election, Russian oligarch Boris Zingarevich, who once employed now-Russian President Medvedev, has acquired full control of bankrupt stimulus recipient and “green energy” failure Ener1.

Once heralded by the Obama Administration as one of the “Top 100 Recovery Act Projects Changing America,” Ener1 filed for bankruptcy in January, and was purchased by Zingarevich on March 30. The company was promised $118.5 million of stimulus money, half of which has already been paid, and the remainder of which may still be given away even after Russian control has been taken.

Vice President Biden ironically (or prophetically?) said at the Ener1 manufacturing facility about this technology, “This is about the future.  And the question is which nation is going to seize the future.  Some nation is going to grab it by the throat.”  Russia has answered Biden’s challenge in true Putin style.

“This acquisition is yet another example of the failure of the President to steward taxpayer dollars wisely, and now taxpayer-funded technology is in the hands of one of Vladimir Putin’s cronies,” said American Crossroads President and CEO Steven Law.  “America can’t afford to give President Obama another term with flexibility to continue putting our country at risk.”

Ener1’s bankruptcy and acquisition by Russia is not only an economic failure for President Obama, but a national security failure as well, representing the latest attempt by Putin’s regime to seize American technology.

What a disgrace! Obama’s has to be the most destructive presidency in US history.