By JUSTIN SCHECK Updated July 15, 2012, 9:08 p.m. ET
The U.S. Treasury Department plans to demand back more than $5 million it granted a Montana power plant that later filed for bankruptcy, in what would be a rare foray by the government into the courts to claw back job-creation funds distributed under the 2009 economic-stimulus package.
Treasury plans to use the bankruptcy process to recover funds from Thompson River Power LLC, according to a Treasury spokeswoman.
The move is similar to the Treasury's efforts to recover grants made to other small companies that have hit trouble but gone unnoticed. It also shows how efforts of President Barack Obama's administration to fund green-energy jobs extend beyond high-profile failures such as Solyndra LLC.
The Treasury paid Thompson River $6.5 million in 2010 from a piece of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act known as Section 1603 that reimbursed developers of renewable energy with cash payments equivalent to 30% of their projects' costs. The program has given out more than $11 billion, the Treasury Department says.
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