I’m taking this report at face value. Assuming it’s correct, this is an amazing show of chutzpah. What do you think that solar plant is, Google, a sports stadium maybe? (My emphasis below.)
Struggling solar thermal plant seeks huge taxpayer bailout
After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.
“This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.”
The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.
Can we get the government out of the habit of picking "winners" and let the market decide what projects get financed? It’s time for some of that Separation of Market and State that I go on about.