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Tipsheet

Awesome: DOE Has No Idea What Happened to $500,000 in Stimulus Cash

Solyndra, Fisker... If you thought nightmare stimulus fallout couldn't get worse, you thought wrong. An audit by the Department of Energy concluded that the agency has no idea what happened to $500,000 worth of stimulus cash granted to an unnamed company. The recipient failed to keep adequate records, and so the money has basically disappeared. Half a million dollars, and nothing to show for it.

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The program was given nearly $2 billion in stimulus funds "to support the construction of U.S. based battery and electric drive component manufacturing plants." As of June, DOE had "expended" about $1.2 billion of that money and had made grants to "30 for-profit manufacturers," according to the July 10 audit report.

One of the three “conclusions and observations” the OIG made in the report is that more should be done to “ensure recipients adequately safeguard equipment purchased with federal funds,” the audit states.

“We were unable to locate equipment purchased by one recipient totaling about $500,000,” the audit states.

In an expanded section of the audit entitled “Safeguarding Assets,” it states: “While recipients were required to have property accountability systems in place, one of the three recipients we reviewed had not maintained records detailing information such as the location of equipment purchased with Recovery Act funds.

“In the absence of detailed inventory records, we attempted to locate property using information contained in invoices," the audit states. “However, despite the assistance of recipient officials familiar with the premises and knowledgeable about the purchases made, we were unable to locate 20 of the 37 equipment items sampled.

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You know, maybe we wouldn't have to argue about whether or not America needs something like the "Buffett Rule" to raise more money for the government if it weren't throwing cash at fruitless green energy projects like this. The DOE may as well have flushed this money down the toilet. At least then, we'd know where it was.

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