Another federally subsidized green project bites the dust. The Amonix solar facility in Las Vegas, according to former employees, has been out of operation since May of this year. The solar facility was backed by $21.5 million in federal grants and tax breaks. Naturally, Harry Reid was an early and vocal supporter of this undertaking.
If solar panel production at the facility has permanently ceased, it could prove awkward for Reid, who touted the “permanent green jobs” that Amonix’s Nevada business supposedly represented. The company laid off 200 employees in January.
In May of 2010, Reid attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility. “Amonix is taking full advantage of a tax credit from the Recovery Act and is helping Nevada lead the way in producing clean energy,” Reid said at the time. “I’ve pushed hard to establish a clean energy industry in Nevada that will diversify our economy and protect us from future economic downturns.”
Amonix would be the second Nevada-based – and Reid-backed – green energy project to hit dire financial straits in recent weeks. Nevada Geothermal, which received a $98 million stimulus loan guarantee, announced in a recent SEC filing that “material uncertainties exist which cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
Like Amonix, Nevada Geothermal received significant support from Reid before obtaining taxpayer backing. According to the New York Times, Reid “pressur[ed] the Department of Interior to move more quickly on applications to build clean energy projects on federally owned land and urg[ed] other member of Congress to expand federal tax incentives to help build geothermal plants, benefits that Nevada Geothermal has taken advantage of.”
Like so many big-government failures in recent years, this effort enjoyed bipartisan support. Amonix, the California based company that created the Las Vegas solar facility, received a $15.6 million grant from George W. Bush’s Department of Energy in 2007. Nevada’s Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval, joined Harry Reid in backing Amonix’s Las Vegas solar facility.
This post was authored by Townhall.com editorial intern Kyle Bonnell.