(Washington Times) Two senior Republican senators called on the Department of Energy to explain whether the bankruptcy filing Tuesday by an electric car battery maker, A123 Systems Inc., which was awarded nearly $250 million in government stimulus grants, will result in any taxpayers losses.

Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, pressed the Energy Department for answers in a letter Tuesday.

“The bankruptcy raises the prospect that the taxpayers will get little or no return on their investment in A123 and will lose millions of dollars,” they said. “A123 has been struggling for some time. Was the company struggling when the Energy Department decided to award it a federal grant? Did the Energy Department perform enough due diligence before making this award? Were there any contingencies for this possibility?

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