What Debt Ceiling? Biden Admin Gears Up to Blow $400 Billion on Soft Green Energy Loans

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From Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Solyndra mark two? 

Despite government debt of $31 trillion, and a looming debt ceiling standoff with the Republican Congress, the Biden DOE has chosen now to revive its soft loans for green agenda.

The man in charge of how the US spends $400bn to shift away from fossil fuels

The Department of Energy’s loan programs office was ‘essentially dormant’, says Jigar Shah, its head – but now it’s ready to bankroll clean energy projects

Oliver Milman
Fri 3 Feb 2023 20.00 AEDT

Deep in the confines of the hulking, brutalist headquarters of the US Department of Energy, down one of its long, starkly lit corridors, sits a small, unheralded office that is poised to play a pivotal role in America’s shift away from fossil fuels and help the world stave off disastrous global heating.

The department’s loan programs office (LPO) was “essentially dormant” under Donald Trump, according to its head, Jigar Shah, but has now come roaring back with a huge war chest to bankroll emerging clean energy projects and technology.

Last year’s vast Inflation Reduction Act grew the previously moribund office’s loan authority to $140bn, while adding a new program worth another $250bn in loan guarantees to retool projects that help cut planet-heating emissions. Which means that Shah, a debonair former clean energy entrepreneur and podcast host who matches his suits with pristine Stan Smiths, oversees resources comparable to the GDP of Norway: all to help turbocharge solar, wind, batteries and a host of other climate technologies in the US.

With a newly divided Congress stymieing any new climate legislation in the foreseeable future, Shah has emerged as one of Washington’s most powerful figures in the effort to confront global heating. Shah says such focus on him is “hyperbolic” but the White House is pinning much of its climate agenda on an office that barely had a dozen people when Shah joined in March 2021. It now has more than 200 staffers as it scrambles to distribute billions in loans to projects across the US.

…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/03/us-clean-energy-transition-jigar-shah-interview

Why do I describe these loans as “soft” loans? In my opinion, if the projects being financed had any commercial merit, they wouldn’t need to go to the government for money.

Right now, today, the Republicans have a chance to prevent at least some of that $400 billion of US taxpayer’s money being wasted on virtue signalling green trash projects.

Let us hope the Republicans stand their ground during debt ceiling negotiations.