It’s official, the Energy Department’s green energy loan program is actually expected to lose money despite media reports that such loans would net the government a profit.
The Government Accountability Office says the DOE’s oft-touted $28 billion loan program will cost taxpayers $2.21 billion over the lifetime of the loans. Not only that, the costs to taxpayers for green loans has risen about $500 million as “the result of loan guarantee defaults” from companies like Solyndra and Abound Solar.
The “credit subsidy cost of the loans and loan guarantees in its portfolio” is expected “to be $2.21 billion, including $807 million for loans that have defaulted,” GAO reports. “The fees DOE has collected have not been sufficient to cover all of its administrative expenses for the program” because the “fees on the current loan guarantees were too low to cover ongoing monitoring costs.”
This stands in sharp contrast to media reports from last year suggesting the DOE’s green loan program would net taxpayers $5 billion. Last year, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog ran with the headline, “Remember Solyndra? Those loans are making money.”
The liberal news watchdog Media Matters exclaimed that “Solyndra Scandal-Mongering Hasn’t Stopped The Energy Dept’s Loan Program From Turning A Profit”
Such news stories came after a November 2014 DOE progress report saying it was on track to earn more than $5 billion in total interest payments. The DOE said it had earned $810 million in interest payments — outweighing the $780 million in estimated losses the loan program was expected to incur.But for Obama, Solyndra accomplished what it was set up to do.