An international law firm, which gave substantial political donations to President Obama and fellow Democrats over the last three campaign cycles, received its own significant stimulus award to advise on a controversial Department of Energy loan transaction with a struggling electric vehicle manufacturer.
The firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, received $1,842,180 in Recovery Act funds to provide legal advice, conduct due diligence, and review documents for two loans from DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. One $529 million loan award was to Fisker Automotive to develop and produce two lines of electric vehicles, with plans to create 2,000 new jobs at a renovatedGeneral Motors plant in Delaware. After receiving $193 million under that loan, DOE halted payments to Fisker in May 2011 after it failed to reach milestones set out in the agreement. Work on renovations to the Delaware plant was suspended, and the company let go about 65 employees – “green jobs” – earlier this month.
Debevoise provided the same services to DOE for its $5.9 billion loan to Ford Motor Company, to convert five of its factories in the Midwest so they can produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. DOE’s Web site boasts that thanks to the Ford loan, nearly 33,000 employees at the plants will be “converted” to “green” jobs.