Senator Thune (R-SD) and Grassley (R-IA) have asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu if the $529 million loan granted in 2010 to Fisker is appropriate. Fisker has received $193 million to date with the remainder being held by the Energy Department while they review the status of certain (undisclosed) benchmarks that Fisker is required to meet.
Thune and Grassley question why monies should be given to Fisker at all when Fisker is partly owned by Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority– a branch of the Qatar government–owns about 10% to 15% of Fisker according to Wiki. Dr. Kamel Maamria, head of the General Investments Portfolio and Executive Director of Qatar Holding LLC, is a member of Fisker’s Board of Directors. The Senators asked in the letter: “Why should the American taxpayer have to accept the credit risk of a company owned by a foreign government?”
According to AutoblogGreen: ”Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera argues the loan was an appropriate part of the federal government’s effort to help boost fleetwide fuel economy and said Fisker’s delays are “common for start-ups,” according to the report.
Doesn’t sound like Mr. LaVera answered the question.