Senators Question Obama For Fisker Loan

Apr 24, 2012 12:44 PM EDT

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Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington. (Photo : Reuters)

Two senators questioned Obama administration of loaning $529 million to electric auto maker Fisker Automotive, which has suspended production of a heavily touted plug-in electric car in United States.

The Republicans Charles Grassley and John Thune asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu whether it was wise to have made decision, as things are not turning out as planned. Fisker received about a third of the approved loan and produced its first model Karma, but missed the milestone. The work on its second car, Atlantic, was suspended in February.

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"All we are questioning the Energy Department is that why the loan was issued to Fisker in the first place which is not even producing cars? We are interested in knowing the reasons of the department for granting the loan. We are certainly aware of the fact that the remaining amount of the loan has been frozen and Fisker Automotive wouldn’t be able to benefit out of it,” reads the statement in a letter sent to Energy Department on April 20 and was released to media on Monday.

The Department of Energy approved $529 million financial aid to Fisker Automotive in 2009 to produce energy efficient plug-in electric cars to U.S. market. After receiving one third of the grant from the administration, Fisker introduced $100,000 Karma electric car to U.S. market, which was built in Finland. But Fisker failed to produce more number of cars in the next months showing no interest in keep up the promise of DOE. With Fisker sidelining, the DOE froze the remaining amount of the loan until Fisker introduces more electric car models.

The senators have also raised questions on the moral responsibility of the Energy Department in issuing the loan to Fisker Automotive.

"The department took a decision to aid the Fisker Automotive, but the money belongs to tax payers. How could tax payer’s money used to produce just an high-end electric car? What’s the result out of it?,” reads the letter.

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