Tax Dollars at Work?
April 17th fast approaching, it’s timely to give some thought to how
our hard earned tax dollars are spent. On December 11, 2017, I wrote
was linked to a $7B federal loan application for a steel plant in
Michigan. The sponsors behind Project "Tim," an ambitious project to
supply steel to the auto industry while generating renewable
electricity as a by-product, had applied to the Department of Energy's
Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program according
to a report from Crain's Business Detroit.
project sponsor, New Steel International, Inc., has been busy since
then assembling options to acquire 1,000 acres of land in Durand, MI,
for the massive plant. Neither New Steel nor Tesla have issued any
material public updates on the project.
during the same time the company was ramping up its efforts to acquire
land and further develop the project, skeptics and local critics also
stepped up their own activities related to the project.
of the project have gone on the record to say it is an odd time for
taxpayers to make such a large commitment given industry dynamics and
lower-priced Chinese imports. In a follow-on
December article, Crain’s quoted Wally Wilson, of industry
consultant Steel Insights, LLC, as saying “The idea of putting a blast
furnace (steel mill) in North America, given the high cost, just
doesn't make sense to me…. [t]he problem is, the economics don't