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Hoekstra says millions in green energy subsidies were wasted

Pete Hoekstra appearing on Fox News Sunday.
Pete Hoekstra appearing on Fox News Sunday.

Republican US Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra says there are alternatives to using government subsidies to encourage new energy industries and the jobs that go with them.

He said the proof is the business troubles facing two advanced battery companies with a presence in Michigan.

A123 filed for bankruptcy last week and LG Chem has furloughed its employees.

Hoekstra said that means millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies were “wasted.” He said the subsidies also reward companies for working at applying for grants rather than their core business.

“I doubt that Apple Computer would have ever qualified for a federal grant. You’ve got all of these other companies that now are household names – Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard – we would never have been smart enough to pick ‘em out,” Hoekstra said.

Hoekstra said the U.S. should instead double-down on efforts to enforce fair trade rules against other nations that subsidize industries.

His opponent, Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow says the U.S. risks losing those advanced energy jobs without federal support.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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