Part of $142 million in U.S. Energy Department grant money given to a South Korean battery maker paid Michigan factory workers as they spent hours playing board games and watching movies, according to an agency report.
The work at LG Chem Michigan, a U.S. unit of Seoul-based LG Chem Ltd., has “not been managed effectively,” Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman said in a report released yesterday.
The Energy Department cash was to cover about half of the costs to build a manufacturing plant in Holland, Michigan, for lithium batteries to supply General Motors Co.’s plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. The goal was to create more than 440 jobs and to produce enough batteries for 60,000 electric cars and trucks by the end of 2013, according to the report.
LG Chemical’s troubles at the Holland factory mark yet another stumble in obama’s effort to promote clean energy manufacturing with government funds. Solyndra LLC, a solar-panel maker, collapsed just two years after it received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee. Battery maker A123 Systems Inc. declared bankruptcy in October and has since been sold to a Chinese company after also receiving federal funds.
While the LG facility has produced test batteries, it has yet to make any for commercial use, and employment there was less than half of projections at the time the inspector general’s review was conducted, according to the report.
Lacking work, “employees spent time playing video games and watching movies during regular hours,” the inspector general said in the report.
1) the company's tax incentives is based on how many people they have employed, the more they employed the less tax they have to pay, to keep both state and federal tax breaks it may have been profitable or at the least not that expensive all things considered, to keep people on the payroll even when they did not produce.
2) expecting future demand to pick up the company didn't want to lose skilled employees, so they paid them to hang around, many private companies without tax incentives will do that..
3) the company did reimburse the Energy Department for $842,180.00.
I have been paid to hang around by roofing companies because we couldn't complete the job due to adverse weather conditions (high winds), and they knew if we left for other jobs they wouldn't be able to find qualified people to finish the job when the weather permitted.
Because I can't locate a reply from the company concerning this other than they agreed to a partial reimbursement, I can't say if all or part of the above is true for them. It may be as it appears, the company took advantage of government grants.
But, as you see it was the Attorney General a government agency that took action.
We live in an imperfect world, but in the end it is wise that the US attempt to develop new energy sources, at the moment it may not look very money wise, but most early investments in new tech seldom do, one thing is absolutely for sure we will need this tech and a lot sooner than most expect and it would be wise that the US is the dominate player in it..
Nice try. If ya can't see what's right in front of your face, it's no wonder you are missing everything else obama is doing to waste taxpayer money. obama has presided over record deficits, ya know. Actually, after seeing your feeble response, you really don't know, huh.