GOP senators: Obama’s battery stimulus cost taxpayers too much

The two senators released a report Wednesday, after trying to verify the administration’s claims of economic benefits from the $2 billion program, which included a grant to a now-bankrupt company, A123 Systems.

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“The taxpayers paid $2 billion for a pretty lackluster return,” Grassley said in a statement. “The Administration billed this program as an all-around success toward creating jobs, but the results are a lot more mixed.”

Earlier this month, a Department of Energy spokesman released an update on the advanced battery manufacturing program, saying it awarded $2 billion in grants to 29 companies to build or retool 45 manufacturing facilities across 20 states to build advanced batteries, engines, drive trains and other key components for electric vehicles.

The update also said the initiative was responsible for “employing thousands of American workers.” Grassley pressed for proof of the claim. He said the data he received showed a total of 12,613.77 jobs created. Grassley said the administration “should not overstate the value of this program as a boon to economic recovery” since it cost to taxpayers was so high.

“The program cost $158,556 per job, including jobs that were later cut,” Grassley said. “Under the best-case scenario at the now-bankrupt A123, it cost $317,435 per job. The expense is significant, especially when many of the jobs were temporary.”

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