Mitt Romney quipped in the first Presidential debate that the problem with the Obama Administration's green energy investing isn't that it tried to pick winners and losers, but that "you pick the losers." He was being generous. Another big green Administration favorite went belly-up on Tuesday with the Chapter 11 filing by battery-maker A123 Systems Inc.
Massachusetts-based A123 is—or was—part of President Obama's grand design to build a U.S. electric-car industry more or less from scratch. The company was founded by entrepreneurs in 2001 to make lithium ion phosphate batteries and attracted private investment from the likes of Sequoia Capital and GE. Then Washington picked up the green energy fad.
As Mr. Obama put it in August 2009, the government would create an "infrastructure of innovation" by doling out "$2.4 billion in highly competitive grants to develop the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks, powered by the next generation of battery technologies, all made right here in the U.S. of A."
In a September 2010 congratulatory phone call to A123's Livonia, Michigan plant, Mr. Obama called it "the birth of an entire new industry in America."