The Mackinac Center's Michigan Capital Confidential reports that a green tech transportation company has burned through a significant taxpayer loan, and they ain't payin' it back, because the business went belly-up:
In September of 2009, Fisher Coachworks was mentioned in a press release from (former) Gov. Jennifer Granholm as a "green technology" company that was part of the "new energy economy for Michigan." Two years later, the state says Fisher Coachworks is out of business and the state has to write off $1.6 million it loaned the electric bus manufacturing company.
Edgar Benning, general manager of Flint's Mass Transportation Authority, said in an email that Fisher Coachworks went out of business in the development phase of making two $1.1 million electric buses that Flint was going to purchase with grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the "stimulus plan."
So not only was the manufacturing stimulated, but the government purchase of the buses was to be stimulated. Here is some more stimulating talk from the press release:
Funds from the Recovery Act continue to support our goal to build a new energy economy for Michigan and create jobs in this high-growth sector for our workers.
Bob Foy, Flint MTA manager:
The electric technology and 30 percent lighter chassis will mean a cleaner, quieter vehicle that generates zero emissions. The Fisher coach chassis and engine is manufactured in Michigan, creating jobs for Michigan workers. Great for the environment, great for our commuters... and we're generating jobs at the same time.
Ron Prell, manager of Thunder Bay Transportation Authority, which was also to receive stimulus funds to buy Fisher's buses:
The new hybrid buses will be a win/win for the rural counties we serve, and the lessons we learn will have nationwide application....The buses are environmentally-friendly and quiet. The hybrid bus has lower maintenance and fuel costs, which means less dependence on foreign oil.
Yes, buses that don't run certainly are enviro-friendly, quiet, low-maintenance and reduce fuel costs. Too bad about that little loan thing.
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