President Barack Obama used his fifth State of the Union address to extol the virtue and job-creating power of federal investment in solar, wind and advanced battery development.
Maybe he should have consulted his Department of Energy first.
In a scathing report issued Wednesday, the department's Office of Inspector General said LG Chem Michigan Inc. misused most of $150 million in federal grants to build its battery cell manufacturing plant in Holland. The company used taxpayer dollars to pay employees to volunteer at local nonprofits, play games and watch movies.
"We confirmed the allegations," wrote Gregory H. Friedman, the inspector general. "Even though the facility had produced a large number of test cells, the plant had yet to manufacture battery cells that could be used in electric vehicles and sold to the public."