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WWII Propaganda Poster
What if we declared war on our fossil fuel dependency and waged a WWII type effort to wean ourselves off of its use and transform our economy to a non-polluting , renewable energy based one? What if we set a goal of being totally free of our need to import foreign oil in 10 years. Impossible you say? If you said yes I would have to say you are very wrong. A look back at what this country accomplished during WWII clearly shows that these goals are very possible to achieve. All that is required is leadership from the top and a national will to accomplish the task. Let's travel back in time for a few minutes and see just what we did just 70 years ago.



First let's start with a quote. President Franklin Roosevelt told Congress and his countrymen less than a month after Pearl Harbor.
“It is not enough to turn out just a few more planes, a few more tanks, a few more guns, a few more ships than can be turned out by our enemies. We must out-produce them overwhelmingly, so that there can be no question of our ability to provide a crushing superiority of equipment in any theatre of the world war.”
The First War Powers Act act was signed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and put into law on December 18, 1941, less than two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The act gave the President enormous authority to execute World War II in an efficient manner. The president was authorized to reorganize the executive branch, independent government agencies, and government corporations for the war cause.

Three months after passing the first, the Second War Powers Act was passed. This further strengthened the executive branch powers towards executing World War II. This act allowed the acquisition, under condemnation if necessary, of land for military or naval purposes. In addition, it created methods for war-related production contracting along with adjusting several other aspects of government affairs. Thus began a massive war mobilization effort the world had never before seen.

Roosevelt created the War Production Board in 1942. The purpose of the board was to regulate the production and allocation of materials and fuel during World War II in the United States. The WPB converted and expanded peacetime industries to meet war needs, allocated scarce materials vital to war production, established priorities in the distribution of materials and services, and prohibited nonessential production.

Later in 1943 the Office of War Mobilization was established. This office took over from the earlier War Production Board to shift the country from a peacetime to a wartime economy, sometimes loaning smaller factories the money needed to convert to war production.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt also ordered auto manufacturers to stop producing cars for domestic use. The last cars rolled off the assembly lines in early 1942 as Michigan auto makers converted their factories to make war products such as ambulances, tanks, trucks, Jeeps, bombers, guns, engines and ammunition. The government also stopped the manufacture of refrigerators, radios, sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, and phonographs. In 1942 a rationing system was begun to guarantee minimum amounts of necessities to everyone (especially poor people) and prevent inflation. Tires were the first item to be rationed.

By 1943 one needed government issued ration coupons to purchase typewriters, coffee, sugar, gasoline, bicycles, clothing, fuel oil, silk, nylon, stoves, shoes, meat, cheese, butter, lard, margarine, canned foods, dried fruits, jam, and many other items. Some items—like new automobiles and appliances were no longer made. The rationing system did not apply to used goods (like clothes or cars).

One of the most noteworthy areas of civilian involvement during the war was in the area of recycling. Many everyday commodities were vital to the war effort, and drives were organized to recycle such things as rubber, tin, waste kitchen fats (the predominant raw material of explosives and many pharmaceuticals) paper, lumber, steel and many others. Popular phrases promoted by the government at the time were "Get into the scrap!" and "Get some cash for your trash" (a nominal sum was paid to the donor for many kinds of scrap items).

Consumer saving was strongly encouraged through investment in War bonds that would mature after the war. Most workers had an automatic payroll deduction; children collected savings stamps until they had enough to buy a bond. Bond rallies were held throughout the U.S. with famous celebrities, usually Hollywood film stars, to enhance the bond advertising effectiveness. Several stars were responsible for personal appearance tours that netted multiple millions of dollars in bond pledges—an astonishing amount in 1943. The public paid 3/4 of the face value of a war bond, and received the full face value back after a set number of years.

The overall result was a dramatic increase in GDP, the export of vast quantities of supplies to the Allies and to American forces overseas, the end of unemployment, and a rise in civilian consumption even as 40% of the GDP went to the war effort. People tolerated the extra work because of patriotism, the pay, and the confidence life would return to normal as soon as the war was won.

What a stunning achievement we accomplished back then! Leadership and national will was all that was required. Our country was transformed. We took on the challenge. We rallied around a cause. We won! This is what we are capable of. This is the possible.

There are many good reasons to justify the declaration of this war on fossil fuel; for the President to declare a state of national emergency and invoke the special powers afforded to the office during times of war. Let me just name a few.

1.Fossil fuel is compromising our national security, altering our foreign policy priorities and ensnarling us in conflicts around the world.

2.It is polluting our air, water and land.

3.It is damaging our health and raising our health care costs.

4.It is altering our weather patterns and disrupting ecosystems around the globe.

5.It is inhibiting our economic growth.

6.It is seriously deteriorating our overall quality of life.

Isn't this list enough proof that a state of war is justified? When a nation's way of life is threatened isn't it proper to declare war on the cause of that threat? It is time to get our heads out of our ass,

get off of our ass and fight this war!

"Forward On Climate" Rally - February 17, 2013, 12:00 pm, Washington, DC

Link - feel free to post on your Facebook pages.

The Church of the Holy Shitters will post articles on our holy S.H.I.T. day ( So Happy It's Thursday)  

Last week: Originally scheduled to post on Thursday 2/14/13 but moved up to 2/12/13 to promote the Forward on Climate Change blogathon being conducted by Climate Change SOS:  The Reluctance to Change vs the Willingness to Change

Next week 2/21/13:  Climate Change Deniers

Hoping to add some humor, provoke thought, spark debate,  deepen understanding, and shed some light on the fecal side.  
Remember:  "If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit." ( Shitbit by Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters)
Church of the Holy Shitters
Originally posted on

Originally posted to Holy $h*tters on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "The American way of life is not negotiable" (9+ / 0-)

    President George H.W. Bush 1992 at the Earth Summit. Even though this was 20 years ago I think it continues to represent the view of a majority of American voters and the politicians they elect. What the majority of American voters want is cheaper gasoline, not more expensive energy. Cheaper is a higher priority than cleaner. Proposing laws that restrict the use of consumer products, like rationing during WWII, would put the political party proposing them out of office for a decade or more.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:11:05 AM PST

  •  Yes I woke up and sat down to breakfast (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven, bfitzinAR, DawnN

    to this wonderful news.  That's the way to start a new day!

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:24:28 AM PST

  •  70 years ago is fine, but today is better. (9+ / 0-)

    Today, Germany is changing their entire energy usage, moving towards a high percentage of renewable energy.  See

    •  we need that kind of public support (9+ / 0-)

      here. Too bad Big Oil owns the media.

      Such a massive power shift may sound impossible to those of us from the United States, where giant oil and coal corporations control the energy industry and the very idea of human-caused climate change is still hotly contested. Here in Germany, that debate is long over. A dozen years of growing public support have driven all major political parties to endorse the Energiewende. If a member of parliament called climate change a hoax or said that its cause is unknown, he or she would be laughed out of office.

      "The fight now, to the extent that there is one, is over the speed of the transition,..."

      If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

      by Lady Libertine on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:44:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so true (5+ / 0-)

      but the one thing to remember about Germany is that it didn't happen overnight. You could say that it took 30 years from when the Green Party first got elected to the Bundestag and a lot of citizen activism until the ideas became mainstream enough for the conservatives to embrace them. But that's exactly what we need to do in this country, keep pushing and building the movement until it becomes totally radical not to jump on the bandwagon.

      So while the top down WW2 example in John's diary is one example of mobilizing a country, I do think he bottom up movement is more likely what's going to happen here and what has a chance of succeeding. We'll just make them do it!

      Can't make it to Washington D.C. on 2/17? Check for a Forward on Climate Solidarity Rally near you!

      by citisven on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:51:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Top down, bottom up or sideways I don't (8+ / 0-)

        care how it happens as long as it does as it has in Germany.  The point of this diary is that if and when we as a collective people make up our minds to do something we can accomplish miracles on short order.  To all those out there that think the fight for climate sanity is lost, that there is no reason to try, our WWII experience should remind us that it is not.  

        If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

        by John Crapper on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:59:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  this is important to remember. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN, John Crapper, Calamity Jean, ybruti

        When I was young, we marched against places like Grohnde, or Gorleben, or Wackersdorf or Brokdorf. Those names signify nuclear power plants (that was what it was about in the 1970s). As citisven says, looking back, that is where the Energiewende began. Why were we successful? Because we, as amovement, did not shy away from violence. While we were never a violent movement, we made a stand when the state commited violence upon us, and we forced the state to do so to protect the traditional owner´s interests at all those sites. We would have dismantled those sites if there had been no police standing in front of us. I realize that conditions in the US are vastly different and that what led to a government changing its stance in our case, could easily lead to a bloodbath in another case. Politics is risk taking. "Make them do it" has to imply the willingess to suffer pain, and to inflict pain, and the actual execution of it. Otherwise nothing will happen.  


        •  While I was stationed in Vietnam I became an (6+ / 0-)

          active member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.  It was risky to be in theatre and publicly against the war.  I had a colonel pull his 45 on me in front of witnesses threatening to kill me because I caused an investigation be conducted on our unit.  He was later relieved of command.  

          When I protested against the war upon my return I remember guns sticking out of helicopters watching our every move as we captured and secured the observation deck of city hall in protest of the war.  

          Effective protest action involves risk!  The powerful don't relinquish their control easily.

          If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

          by John Crapper on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:59:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I really like this one (10+ / 0-)

    I keep hearing the comparison to WWII a lot these days. Bill McKibben mentions it, and Richard Register. I think it's a good rallying cry, but it has to be said that Hitler is so much easier to rally against than CO2. Try to imagine a Hollywood drama with CO2 as the villain, it's a tough one to pull off. People need a compelling story, and there are some good ones out there in regards to climate change, but the problem is that the "enemy" is not one central target but all over the place and even inside all of us. The Hollywood version of this mobilization would look like a Zen koan.

    Can't make it to Washington D.C. on 2/17? Check for a Forward on Climate Solidarity Rally near you!

    by citisven on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:36:38 AM PST

  •  Yes But If We Had the Government Votes to Do This (5+ / 0-)

    we would have had the votes to pass lesser policies like national rooftop solar in a business as usual way.

    Government has the authority to act this way but it doesn't have the power to do so.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:41:04 AM PST

    •  Most roofs in sunny California (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Canella

      have yet to be adorned with solar panels. If only the government would send people door to door explaining a great government program that would help them go solar quickly and cheaply. I think that was done in Germany - there were people hired to look for good roofs all over the country and then get solar installed.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:11:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, there are plenty of BUT moments we've had (5+ / 0-)

    with our relationship with the environment and with a blogging name like John Crapper I've thought about buts and butts a lot. lol   I don't know about you but I can feel the power shifting and the political climate shifting in our direction day by day.  May lead up to another but or butt moment or it just might be our Holy Shit moment where we break through and break the tide of resistance to the transition we so desperately need.  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 10:04:50 AM PST

  •  The prep work for WWII mobilization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper, radical simplicity

    was done in 1940-1941 - pretty much starting with the Lend-Lease production.  Workers were trained in "voluntary" private sector programs - participation in which put those companies on a "no-bid contractor" list when the country actually shifted into war production.  Could we do this?  Of course we could.  Will we?  No.  Congress gave the FDR authority over resources - steel, coal, water, everything we had domestically needed for the manufacture of just about anything.  The president could and did say to Detroit, when Detroit said they weren't able to build tanks AND cars, that Detroit wasn't going to get steel to build anything but tanks.  This congress?  This president?  Ain't gonna happen.  (And actually I'm pretty sure sugar was the first and last item rationed.)

    •  Earlier (4+ / 0-)

      First labor shortages were summer 1940, Lexington Yorktown commissioned in 1937, most US planes were prototypes in 1936-7.

      Every single US Navy Capital ship that saw action, was authorized before Dec 7th 1941. 200 ships.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:18:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely - the planning for that (3+ / 0-)

        "miraculous" mobilization was at least two years and probably closer to three years in the making.  Winston Churchill, in explaining why the "peace in our time" Munich cave didn't buy the Allies time to catch up as some were saying in 1940, said manufacturing takes at least 3 years to get to full production - you get nothing the first year as you build or retool factories to the purpose and set up supply lines, you start getting some production the second year as those factories start coming online, and by the end of the third year you have full production - probably.  If the supply chain will stand it.  Otherwise full production won't happen until the 4th year.  The Germans were already in the 4th year of production by 1940.  Munich delayed the Allies by at least a year actually getting started - but that didn't stop the guys at the top from doing the planning.  And we were actively in the war itself for just under 4 years.

  •  Great work, John. (4+ / 0-)

    Actually, if we had kept WWII-style recycling and efficiency protocols in place permanently, America and the Earth would be in a hell of a lot better shape.

    Instead we built a consumer economy and a culture of planned obsolescence, which has taken only fifty years to implode completely.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:36:59 PM PST

  •  So does this war include nuclear power? (0+ / 0-)

    Because if not, we're taking it a bit less seriously than we took WW2.

  •  I'm sorry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper, ybruti, Steve Canella

    I keep thinking of Jimmy Carter, who tried to declare war on energy waste, and went down in flames.

    We'll need a virile approach, for lack of a better word.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:43:10 PM PST

  •  Paul Gilding's "The Great Disruption" makes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper, Steve Canella

    essentially the same argument regarding a War Effort sized response to Climate Change.

    It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.

    The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight-and win-what he calls The One Degree War to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today.

    The crisis represents a rare chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability, and it’s already happening. It’s also an unmatched business opportunity: Old industries will collapse while new companies will literally reshape our economy. In the aftermath of the Great Disruption, we will measure “growth” in a new way. It will mean not quantity of stuff but quality and happiness of life. Yes, there is life after shopping.

    Gilding believes that Climate Change's disruptive impact on the economy will be what ultimately causes world leaders to cast aside Denial and for the U.S. to launch a War Effort against greenhouse gases. Personally, I believe he is being a bit optimistic, and I think he would admit as much if weren't for the fact that environmentalists have tried hard facts, cold truth and dire warnings for decades, to no avail.

    The bio from Paul's site for "The Great Disruption":

    Paul Gilding has spent 35 years trying to change the world, doing everything he can think off. He’s served in the Australian military, chased nuclear armed aircraft carriers in small inflatable boats, plugged up industrial waste discharge pipes, been global CEO of Greenpeace, taught at Cambridge University, owned and run two ground-breaking sustainability focused companies and been a close confidant and advisor to the CEOs of some the world’s largest companies.

    Despite the clear lack of progress, the unstoppable and flexible optimist is now an author and advocate, writing his widely acclaimed book “The Great Disruption”, which prompted Tom Freidman to write in the NYT: “Ignore Gilding at your peril”. He now travels the world alerting people – in business, community groups, government and even the military –  to the global economic and ecological crisis now unfolding around us, as the world economy reaches and passes the limits to growth.

    He is confident we can get through what’s coming and in fact thinks we will rise to the occasion, with change on a scale and at a speed incomprehensible today. He tells us to get prepared for The Great Disruption and “the end of shopping”, as we reinvent the global economy and our model of social progress.

    He lives on a farm in southern Tasmania with his wife, where they grow blueberries and raise chickens, sheep and their children.

    A profile of Paul, first published in Mensa Magazine can be read here.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 06:28:07 AM PST

    •  Thank you for posting such an appropriate (0+ / 0-)

      comment to this diary.  I've been aware of this book for a while but have yet to read.  I need to.  I reaaly like the redefinition of wealth concept.  I'm currently reading Natural Capitalism - Creating the Next Industrial Revolution.  Been so busy that I've not made much progress of late.  Not enough hours in the day.

      I'm more optimistic today than I've been in a long time.  My first post on Kos  describes a failed attempt I made to affect change.  If you get a chance take a look at it.  

      The Church of the Holly Shitters concept is my second 2 cents worth attempt at raising concern and awareness regarding our environment.  Thanks for following the group and me.  Hope you find my ideas a little interesting.  My ideas are definitely a little strange as you will discover.  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:42:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pollution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper

    In the worst case we revert to our ancestors' self-sufficient farms, but not if the land and water are so polluted it is impossible to live and have plants and animals survive.  That is where we are today.  It is not economics.  We are at survival level right now.  Renewable energy is clean.    Fossil fuels cartels dominate politics and prevent change to renewables.  Most important political issue right now.  Excuse of the week: sell coal to China.  China's pollution and Japan's nuclear waste come straight to the West Coast.  Just because someone makes a buck off a toxic idea does not mean the dollar is king even though the US is ruled by the dollar kings.

  •  Reality is it is not going to happen anytime soon. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper

    From Scientifica American:

    Smil spoke at the recent Equinox Summit at the Perimeter Insitute in Waterloo, Ontario, which was specifically charged with devising a new energy scenario for 2030, one that would cut greenhouse gas emissions while extending modern energy to the billions of people who lack it today. The summit called for a range of options, from power plants that harvest energy from hot rocks to solar-battery combos for rural electrification.

    The only problem: all of those resources require fossil fuels to build in the first place. Steel and cement—the essential substrate of energy equipment and cities—require coal (or, even worse, charcoal) to be burned. Cheap plastic photovoltaics require polymers made from oil. The fertilizer that feeds a global population of seven billion requires the conversion of natural gas to more than 140 million tons of ammonia per year. Even advanced nuclear reactors would need large, oil-burning machines to mine the uranium or thorium fuel.

    "A wind turbine is a pure embodiment of power from fossil fuels," Smil noted. "We are fundamentally a fossil fuel civilization. Everything around us we have fossil fuels to thank for."

    Nor is the world in danger of finishing off the supply of fossil fuels anytime soon. "Instead of running out of gas, we ran into gas in the shale," Smil said. "We’re not running out of anything on a human scale."

    That may be a good thing since the alternatives currently on offer—such as biofuels to substitute for oil-derived fuels—can do more harm than good. "It’s insane. It’s taking food from the mouths of babies," Smil said. "It’s a make work project for farmers."

    Plus it took three decades, tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico (a result of fertilizer run-off) to allow ethanol from corn—the most productive per hectare crop on the planet—to supply 10 percent of U.S. car fuel. And that’s relatively fast; liquefied natural gas took more than 150 years from conceptual discovery to actual shipments, a timespan similar to the shift from wood to coal, for example. "We should focus our resources and attention on what has the best chance to succeed," Smil said. "That’s not biofuels, that’s not wind. It is PV," or photovoltaic modules for converting light energy to electricity.

    And what has an even better chance of success—and immediate impact—is reforming the current energy system, whether through better building codes that require more insulation and triple-pane windows or making the most efficient use of fossil fuels. After all, if all of Canada switched to more than 90 percent efficient natural gas furnaces, the country would produce 40 percent less CO2. "There is no renewable energy that will get you 40 percent less carbon on a scale like that," Smil said. "Changing furnaces is an energy transition."

    •  Political and economic reality has a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LillithMc, Steve Canella

      way of changing in the face of natural reality.  Reducing consumption and increasing energy use efficiency are essential elements of energy use sanity.  

      The biggest obstacle to any transition continues to be people's consciousness and perception of themselves and how they fit into things in the big picture of existence.  In one word our ego.  We've got to come to terms with the fact "our shit stinks"!  Thus the Church of the Holy Shitters.

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:36:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is strictly an economic issue. (0+ / 0-)

        Politics is the part when they shove it down your throat.  Companies like Solyndra and LG Chem wasted millions of dollars for nothing.  There currently is no such thing as alternative energy that can replace fossil fuels.  

        There is more:

        A123: The battery maker received a $249 million Department of Energy stimulus grant to build two factories in Michigan to manufacture batteries for electric cars.

        The company drew down $132 million of that grant, and the factories are up and running, according to the DOE.

        As part of A123's bankruptcy announced earlier this week, the factories were sold to Johnson Controls (JCI, Fortune 500), which is expected to keep them open. Since the investment was a grant, the government got no money back. It's unclear whether Johnson will be eligible to draw down the remaining grant funds.

        Abound Solar: The manufacturer of thin-film solar panels received a $400 million DOE stimulus loan guarantee to build two factories -- one outside Kokomo, Indiana and another outside of Denver.

        Abound drew down $70 million of the grant to build the Denver factory. Abound declared bankruptcy in June amid strong competition and the collapsing price of solar panels.

        Its assets are being auctioned off, and DOE is expected to lose to $40 to $60 million on the deal.

        Beacon Power: The company received a $43 million DOE stimulus loan guarantee to build a facility in upstate New York that uses flywheels to store extra energy from the power grid, and then release it when needed. Such technology is seen as essential to integrate wind and solar into the grid, as those sources don't produce energy 24/7.

        The company spent $39 million to build the project, which consists of wheels inside vacuum tubes that can spin at near perpetual motion. Beacon went bankrupt amid low prices for natural gas, which can be burned to produce electricity.

        The flywheel plant was sold to a competitor, and DOE is slated to receive at least $27 million in the deal.

        Ener1: A subsidiary of the company, EnerDel, received an $118.5 million grant to build two plants outside Indianapolis to manufacture batteries for electric cars and other uses.

        Ener1 declared bankruptcy in January, and the company was bought by a Russian investor. The plants in Indianapolis continue to make batteries.

        Solyndra: The manufacturer of advanced solar panels received a $535 million loan guarantee to build a factory outside of San Francisco.

        Solyndra went bankrupt in 2011 amid falling prices for solar panels, and has since served as the poster child for well-meaning government policy gone bad.

        Its assets are being auctioned off, and DOE is not expected to recover any meaningful amount of money.

         The House Committee also pointed to two other DOE-funded companies that have made negative headlines as of late, but are still in businesses.

        Fisker Automotive: The electric car maker received a $529 million DOE-backed stimulus loan to design a mid-priced model and build a factory to manufacture the vehicle in Delaware.

        In February, Fisker put the manufacture of the sedan on hold amid lower than expected demand for electric cars and announced layoffs, though still says it plans on building the car in 2014. The company has drawn down about $200 million of the loan.

        Nevada Geothermal Power: The firm received a $98 million DOE-backed loan to build a geothermal power plant north of Reno.

        According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, an internal audit of the firm revealed $98 million in net losses and significant debt.

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