Obama Transmits Stimulus Money To Vladimir’s Regime

Bankrupt “Green Energy” Company Acquired by Russian Oligarch with Ties to Putin

WASHINGTON – Following on the heels of President Obama’s claim that he would have “more flexibility” on foreign policy deals with Russia after winning re-election, Russian oligarch Boris Zingarevich, who once employed now-Russian President Medvedev, has acquired full control of bankrupt stimulus recipient and “green energy” failure Ener1.

Once heralded by the Obama Administration as one of the “Top 100 Recovery Act Projects Changing America,” Ener1 filed for bankruptcy in January, and was purchased by Zingarevich on March 30. The company was promised $118.5 million of stimulus money, half of which has already been paid, and the remainder of which may still be given away even after Russian control has been taken.

Vice President Biden ironically (or prophetically?) said at the Ener1 manufacturing facility about this technology, “This is about the future.  And the question is which nation is going to seize the future.  Some nation is going to grab it by the throat.”  Russia has answered Biden’s challenge in true Putin style.

“This acquisition is yet another example of the failure of the President to steward taxpayer dollars wisely, and now taxpayer-funded technology is in the hands of one of Vladimir Putin’s cronies,” said American Crossroads President and CEO Steven Law.  “America can’t afford to give President Obama another term with flexibility to continue putting our country at risk.”

Ener1’s bankruptcy and acquisition by Russia is not only an economic failure for President Obama, but a national security failure as well, representing the latest attempt by Putin’s regime to seize American technology.

American Crossroads is a non-profit 527 political organization dedicated to renewing America’s commitment to individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense through informed and effective political action. American Crossroads seeks to educate voters and empower citizens to hold lawmakers and office-seekers accountable for where they stand.  Paid for by American Crossroads. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. dev-ac-www-americancrossroads.pantheon.io

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Jonathan Collegio at [email protected] or (202) 559-6424.

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Key Data Points on This Developing Story…

Battery Maker Ener1 Filed For Bankruptcy After Taking Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars

In August 2009, EnerDel Was Awarded At $118.5 Million Government Grant. “EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems, landed a $118.5 million energy grant in August 2009. About one-and-a-half years later, Vice President Joe Biden toured a company plant in Indiana and heralded its taxpayer-supported expansion as one of the ‘100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.’”  (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk. “Green Firms Get Fed Cash, Give Execs Bonuses, Fail,” ABC News, 3/6/12)

In January 2012, EnerDel’s Parent Company, Ener1 Filed For Bankruptcy. “The parent company of an electric car battery maker that received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company announced Thursday. … EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1 dedicated to making batteries for electric cars, was awarded a $118 million grant from the Energy Department in 2009 as part of President Obama’s economic stimulus package and green energy push.” (Lee Ferran and Matthew Mosk, “Ener1, Parent Of Obama-Backed Green Company, Files For Bankruptcy,” ABC News, 1/27/12)

The Obama Administration Touted Ener1 As The Future Of American Green Technology

Funded By The Stimulus, The Obama Administration Called The Ener1 Grant One Of The “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.” “The Ener1 grant, among $2.4 billion in federal awards to spur the electric car industry, was announced by Obama in August 2009 in Elkhart, Ind. In a September 2010 report, the White House featured subsidiary Ener¬Del as one of the ‘100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America.’” (Carol Leonnig, “Obama-Backed Car Battery Company Files For Bankruptcy Protection,” The Washington Post, 1/26/12)

During A Speech At Ener1, Vice President Biden Said The Ener1 Grant Was About “Which Nation Is Going To Seize The Future” Of Green Energy Technology. ‘”This is about the future. And the question is which nation is going to seize the future. Some nation is going to grab it by the throat. One of the nations of the world is going to lead the world in green energy and technology,’ Vice President Joe Biden said in January 2011 in a speech praising federal support for Ener1 at its facility in Indiana.” (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12)

  • Biden “This Administration Is Forging A New Path Forward By Making Sure America Doesn’t Just Lead In The 21st Century, But Dominates In The 21st Century.” “In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama highlighted his goal of making the United States the first country in the world to put one million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015.  Following a tour of the Ener1, Inc. factory today, the Vice President met with workers to discuss the Administration’s new plan for reaching that ambitious goal. ‘As you heard President Obama say last night, this Administration is forging a new path forward by making sure America doesn’t just lead in the 21st Century, but dominates in the 21st Century,’ said Vice President Biden. ‘We’re not just creating new jobs—but sparking whole new industries that will ensure our competitiveness for decades to come—industries like electric vehicle manufacturing.’” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice President Biden Announces Plan To Put One Million Advanced Technology Vehicles On The Road By 2015, Press Release, 1/26/11)

But, Now Ener1 Is Owned By A Russian Oligarch With Ties To The Russian Government

Russian Businessman, Boris Zingarevich “Acquired Ener1 Out Of Bankruptcy” In March 2012. “A little more than a year after Biden’s visit to Ener1’s Indiana manufacturing plant, the company’s technology is owned outright by Boris Zingarevich, a Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a fact that concerns some technology experts in the U.S. Zingarevich acquired Ener1 out of bankruptcy March 30 with an agreement to infuse $81 million in financing, giving him a sophisticated line of batteries that can power electric cars, store electricity for power grids and supply portable power for soldiers. His plans for Ener1 aren’t known. A company spokesman declined to comment, saying Ener1 is privately held.” (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12)

  • Zingarevich Is “One Of An Elite Group Of Russian ‘Oligarchs’’’ “Bald and stocky with piercing blue eyes, the 52-year-old Zingarevich now controls Ener1. He is one of an elite group of Russian ‘oligarchs’ whose resources are significant enough to influence national politics, according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12) 

Zingarevich Employed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev As Legal Affair Director At A Paper Company He Co-Founded in The 1990s. “Bald and stocky with piercing blue eyes, the 52-year-old Zingarevich now controls Ener1. He is one of an elite group of Russian ‘oligarchs’ whose resources are significant enough to influence national politics, according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. In 1992, he co-founded Ilim Pulp, one of Russia’s largest pulp and paper companies. He remains on its board. In 1993, Ilim Pulp hired Medvedev as its legal affairs director. Medvedev, who at one point owned 20 percent of the company, helped it grow significantly. He sold his stake in 1999, the same year he took a central government post.” (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12) 

  • During Medvedev’s Employment, Several Of The Company’s Competitors Were Murdered “Under Mysterious Circumstances.” “At about that same time period, several of Ilim Pulp’s competitors were attacked or murdered under mysterious circumstances. Dimitry Varvarin, director general of Orimi, Ilim Pulp’s major rival, was shot to death in St. Petersburg in March 2000. Later that month, another founder of Orimi, Sergei Krizhan, was also murdered, along with his son, according to news reports.” (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12)

Russia Has Long Sought To Acquire American Energy Technology

Russia “Has Expanded Efforts To Obtain High-Tech Energy-Related Technology From The U.S. Through Both Illicit And Legal Means,” Since Putin Has Been In Power. “Under Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Blank said, Russia has expanded efforts to obtain high-tech energy-related technology from the U.S. through both illicit and legal means as Russia tries to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons. Russia is second only to China in trying to gain high-tech information related to military uses, energy generation and manufacturing, according to the U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.” (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12)

Russia Ranks Near The Top Of All Countries “Spying In The U.S.”  “Russia ranks second to China in spying in the U.S., according to a 2011 report from the Office of National Counterintelligence Executive. The case that made the biggest splash occurred two years ago, when 10 agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Office were arrested after collecting information related to U.S. technology and intelligence. Other cases have involved bribes for automotive and helicopter technology, the report said.” (Julie Wernau, “U.S.-Backed Battery Company’s Sale To Russian Tycoon Sparks Anxiety,” Chicago Tribune, 4/8/12)