Biden Rushing Out $400B for Green Energy
As part of the Biden administration’s commitment to combatting climate change, the Department of Energy is shelling out $400 billion for green energy projects, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to The Journal, the Energy Department’s loan programs office is funding the investments, which range from unproven technologies from startups to massive projects from mega corporations. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 increased the office’s lending capacity by 10 times its previous authority, giving it a pile of cash at least 20 times as big as most private green energy investment funds.
Director Jigar Shah is eager to use his formidable war chest, and proactively reaches out to companies to offer loans and financing for green energy projects. For example, Ford’s electric battery venture received $9.2 billion in loans, while battery startup Kore Power received $850 million to build a manufacturing facility.
Shah already has 150 companies asking for $127.7 billion from his office, but that has hardly made a dent in his stockpile, so, according to The Journal, he “has begun writing bigger checks.”
His $9.2 billion to Ford was the largest check ever written by the office, substantially bigger than the $5.9 billion Ford borrowed from the office during the 2009 Great Recession.
Despite the excitement around these investments, the loan office has a history of bad deals. It infamously wasted $535 million on a failed solar panel company called Solyndra. Now, some staff are worried the funding being awarded now is just as risky, according to The Journal.
These questionable projects include $1 billion for Monolith, which failed to meet basic requirements to show its process worked at scale, and $102 million for Syrah, a company reliant on a Mozambiquan mine that suffered terrorist attacks on its critical raw materials.
All projects that receive taxpayer funds should undergo a rigorous review process to ensure the funds are necessary and will be used wisely, and pushing out extra money to questionable programs all but guarantees waste.
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