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Abengoa, a Spanish renewable energy company, is on the brink of failure. Few in the United States might care except for the fact the Obama administration showered Abengoa with more than $2.9 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees: If Abengoa goes belly up, taxpayers will be on the hook for a bankruptcy that makes Solyndra’s look small by comparison.
As part of the president’s climate change efforts, the Department of Energy supported Abengoa’s solar projects in Arizona and California and the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas. With subsidies for solar in Europe, where most of Abengoa’s operations are based, being sharply curtailed, the firm’s financial health has declined, leading the brokerage firm BNP Paribas to downgrade Abengoa’s rating on August 3 from “Neutral” to “Underperform” after the company’s shares dropped 31.76 percent in three months. The company’s stock price on NASDAQ fell from $29.32 on September 2, 2014 to $5.62 on September 1, 2015.