New Company to Get Government Money after Solyndra

Solyndra was a horrible embarrassment, but the government is ready to start shoveling money at another company.

Over at Doreen Borelli’s website, Tom Borelli has written an interesting piece: “Guess which Fortune 500 Company Might Get $259 Million Loan from Energy Department.”

Corporatism is blooming like flowers this spring.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that its revised loan program has given a preliminary loan commitment for $259 million to Alcoa – the aluminum producer.

The loan, from DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, is the first being issued after a four year suspension of the program because previous DOE loans resulted in significant tax payer losses from bankruptcies including Solyndra.

The Alcoa loan follows improvements to the program by DOE Secretary Moniz to support the production of light weight vehicles that will use less fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As expected, Alcoa’s CEO Klaus Kleinfeld welcomed the potential cash windfall saying, “Alcoa is pleased to be part of the government’s program to encourage a greater shift to aluminum intensive vehicles that are safer, lighter and more fuel-efficient.”

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander (TN) also welcomed the loan since it would support Alcoa’s Tennessee based manufacturing facility.

The high-strength aluminum produced by Alcoa is being used to supply Ford for its new F-150 truck that uses an aluminum body.

The DOE loan will support Alcoa’s effort to expand its facility in Tennessee and create about 200 full-time jobs and 400 construction jobs.

Ford isn’t a charity. If it has a good opportunity to make a desirable new truck, why can’t it raise its own investors who will loan the money for the expansion of the facility?

[See also, “Government Accuses Markets of Inefficiency While Burning Money.”]

If no one wants to help build that plant, and reap the rewards, then why should the taxpayer be used to create subsidized loans for them? Either the idea is bad and Alcoa should not get subsidized loans for an unnecessary project, or the idea is good and private investors should be allowed to support the project, motivated by the profits that it will produce.

We don’t need another Solyndra. Get the government out of the business world!