Chairman of DOE-backed electric car firm resigns

Republicans used Fisker's recent troubles in post-election attacks against President Obama's green energy efforts that they label a failure. GOP operatives also circulated news of the resignation Wednesday on Twitter.

Republican Sens. John ThuneJohn ThuneFight breaks out at FCC over 'zero-rating' data plans A political temper tantrum at the FCC Overnight Tech: Lawmakers look at US edge in artificial intelligence | Walden favored for Energy, Commerce gavel | Tech reaches out to Trump MORE (S.D.) and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDrug pricing debate going into hibernation GOP leaders host Trump's top deputies Key Republican wants details on Ohio State attacker MORE (Iowa) have been particularly wary about recent sales of government-backed firms to foreign entities.

The senators were leading opponents of a Chinese firm’s purchase of A123 Systems. The Waltham, Mass.-based battery maker had received a $249 million DOE grant in 2009, though won't collect the remaining $117 million of that award.

Grassley has also said he worries Fisker could run into the same problems as A123.

“Like A123, this looks like another example of taxpayer dollars going to a failed experiment. Technology developed with American taxpayer subsidies should not be sold off to China. I hope there's at least some accountability at the Department of Energy, but given its track record, I'm not holding my breath,” he told The Detroit News in February.