Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Is Obama 'Jinxing' His Green Investments?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Is Obama 'Jinxing' His Green Investments?

Article excerpt

Is there an Obama jinx? Sportswriters wondered about that when favored teams were upset shortly after the president praised them. Political reporters speculated about a "vacation jinx" because bad things seem to happen when Mr. Obama went on them.

The Bangs Avenue School in Asbury Park, New Jersey was renamed the "Barack H. Obama Elementary School" in 2010. A year later, the school was closed.

At a United Auto Workers conference in Detroit Feb. 28, the president recalled a 2010 visit to the Hamtrack, Mich., plant where the Chevy Volt is built.

The Secret Service wouldn't let him drive one, Mr. Obama said. "But I liked sitting in it. I'll bet it drives real good. Five years from now, when I'm not president anymore, I'll buy one and drive it myself."

Two days later, General Motors announced it was shutting down the Volt production line. About 1,300 workers will lose their jobs, at least temporarily.

"In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world's leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries," Mr. Obama said in his state of the union address in January.

He was referring to Ener1, a recipient of a $118 million grant from the Department of Energy. Two days after that speech, Ener1 filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Volt and Ener1 are the latest in a long list of "green" firms that ran into trouble after President Obama endorsed them.

* In the 2010 State of the Union address, the president praised the investment he'd made in a "California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels."

Mr. Obama was referring to Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy last September after having received $535 million in federal loan guarantees. The firm is leaving behind an environmental mess. The FBI is investigating.

* Abound Solar, a Longmont, Colo., firm which received a $400 million federal loan guarantee, "will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs" at plants in Indiana and Colorado, the president predicted in his weekly radio address July 3, 2010. …

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