Friday, January 11, 2013
President Barack Obama’s administration played favorites on clean-energy loans while improperly blocking a carmaker and a related technology company from receiving millions in aid, according to two lawsuits.
XP Vehicles and Limnia filed complaints against the U.S. and the Energy Department today in two federal courts in Washington, seeking damages for what they say were abuses of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. XP Vehicles, which has dissolved, and Limnia are asking for $450 million in a case filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and at least $225 million in U.S. District Court.
“Defendants used the ATVM loan program as nothing more than a veil to steer hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to government cronies,” according to the district court complaint.
Today’s lawsuits are the latest challenge to clean-energy loan programs administered by the Energy Department, which has come under scrutiny over a $535 million loan guarantee to now-bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra.