Biden’s Energy Loan Czar Was a Major Investor in a Near-Bankrupt Energy Company. That Company Is Set To Receive $1.5 Billion From His Office
Biden energy loan czar Jigar Shah was a major investor in a struggling green energy company that is in advanced talks to receive a $1.5 billion loan from his office.
The Department of Energy’s loan office, where Shah serves as director, is working to fast-track the funding to Plug Power, a hydrogen fuel company on the brink of bankruptcy. But the ties between Plug Power and Shah could add to concerns from lawmakers about conflicts of interest in the federal loan program.
Securities and Exchange Commission records detail a long-standing financial relationship between Plug Power and Generate Capital, an investment firm that Shah founded before joining the Biden administration in 2021. Shah sold his shares in Generate when he entered the government, according to federal disclosure records.
Under Shah’s leadership, Generate loaned over $100 million to Plug Power—one of the firm’s crowning investments, according to its website.
Plug Power repaid the $100 million to Generate at a 9 percent interest rate last December, while it was in negotiations for the DOE funding with Shah’s office, according to corporate disclosure filings. The repayment was three years ahead of schedule, at a time when the hydrogen fuel company was warning investors about its financial viability.
The financial relationship between Plug Power and Generate could raise new questions for Shah, who is already facing scrutiny from Congress over his links to other companies that have received funding from his office.
In November, Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter to DOE questioning a $3 billion loan to Sunnova, a solar company that shares a board member with a private trade group founded by Shah. The trade group, Cleantech Leaders Roundtable, has also hosted paid events where loan-seeking companies can meet Shah, the Washington Free Beacon reported in October.
“Such an intertwining of personal, political, and professional relationships raises further questions about the impartiality of loan approvals and the susceptibility of the process to undue political influence,” wrote Barrasso.
Plug Power described Generate as its “longstanding partner” in a 2020 press release, while Shah was running the investment firm. Generate’s funding for Plug Power “substantially increased Plug’s sales, which significantly reduced the need for the company to raise expensive equity from the stock market,” according to Generate Capital’s website.
Shah has continued to promote Plug Power since joining the Biden administration. Last year, he praised Plug Power for “single handedly forcing the world to do green hydrogen,” and noted that he “helped invest in [Plug Power] while I was a debt provider.”
Plug Power warned that it is on track to run out of money if it can’t secure outside financing. The company has sought to reassure shareholders by touting the potential DOE loan.
Morgan Stanley downgraded Plug Power’s stock late last year, citing “significant risk around PLUG’s business model.” The company’s share price dropped steeply in 2023 due to concerns about its financial performance.
Last spring, Plug Power executives told investors that it was in the final stages of negotiations with DOE. Both parties were “equally motivated to get it done [as] fast as we possibly can,” said Plug Power chief financial officer Paul Middleton during a shareholder call.
Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said the company and Shah’s office had finalized a “term sheet, term sheet framework, and we’re working through final processes to get this structure approved.”
DOE did not respond to a request for comment. Plug Power did not respond to a request for comment.
While a conditional $375 million construction loan for Li-Cycle’s Rochester Hub remains in limbo, members of Congress are again demanding that a Department of Energy official provide details on the agency’s vetting and lending approval processes.
Li-Cycle paused construction on the Hub project back in October, citing escalating construction costs as it awaits final approval of the loan from the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office.
But Republican lawmakers serving on three House of Representatives committees say the director of that loan program, Jigar Shah, has not adequately responded to requests for substantive details on how taxpayer dollars are doled out.
Back in December, Cathy McMorris (R-Wa.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), chair of the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Grid Security; demanded information on how Shah’s department determined recipients of loan dollars.
RELATED: Li-Cycle, construction management firm at odds over Rochester Hub project
The information Shah provided over the past seven weeks didn’t satisfy the lawmakers. In a Jan. 23 letter to Shah, the trio said his answers were “inadequate” and that he had “failed to cooperate in a meaningful way with the committee’s efforts to exercise its Constitutionally based oversight responsibilities.”
The committee chairs again asked for details on how Li-Cycle was given conditional approval for a loan “in light of reports of the poor financial position of Li-Cycle.”
Li-Cycle received conditional approval in February for a loan through the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. Li-Cycle’s business model creates a closed-loop battery supply chain. The firm will recover lithium, cobalt and nickel from end-of-life batteries, then allow those materials to be used again in the production of new batteries.
The Department of Energy did not respond to a media request for information regarding the status of the conditional loan to Li-Cycle.
McMorris, Griffith and Duncan also expressed concerns in their letter about how the Loan Program Office approved a loan to Sunnova, a Texas-based clean energy company whose business practices have been called into question by the House. The committee chairs also demanded information regarding Shah’s participation in Cleantech Leaders Roundtable events and whether there was a conflict of interest.
The letter threatened more action, including a subpoena, if the Department of Energy did not cooperate with oversight efforts.
So filled with fraud: The green agenda and the rich who benefit from it
The federal government essentially has ordered electric car companies to commit fraud.
Here’s the headline:
A government rule makes them look nearly seven times as efficient as they are.
Here’s what’s from the article:
“When carmakers test gasoline powered vehicles for compliance with the Transportation Department’s fuel efficiency rules, they must use real values measured in a laboratory. By contrast, under an Energy Department rule, carmakers can arbitrarily multiply the efficiency of electric cars by 6.67. This means that although a 2022 Tesla Model Y tests at the equivalent of 65 miles per gallon in a laboratory (roughly the same as a hybrid). It is counted as an absurdly high compliance value of 430 mpg. That number has no basis in reality or law.
For exaggerating electric car efficiency, the government rewards the carmakers with compliance credits which the can trade for cash, Economists estimate these credits could be worth billions, a vast cross-subsidy invented by bureaucrats and paid for by every person who buys a gasoline powered car.”
These are the worthless carbon credits that companies such as Tesla got rich selling to companies like GM and Ford so they could pretend to reduce the carbon from their highly profitable gas guzzling trucks and SUVs.
Democrats claim they care about the poor and middle class but the poor have been screwed for years to pay more for their gas-powered vehicles to cover the massive losses from selling inefficient, expensive, impractical vehicles powered by the highly flammable pollutant lithium that the green pushers want to force all of us to buy.
More from the article:
“Until recently, this subsidy was a government secret. Carmakers and regulators liked it that way.. Regulators could announce what sounded like stringent targets and carmakers would nod along, knowing they could comply by making cars with arbitrarily boosted compliance values, Consumers would unknowingly foot the bill.”
In other words, the government, the carmakers and the green pushers knew this was a massive fraud but they didn’t care. They were greedy and the radical green agenda was all that mattered. The people are irrelevant, especially the poor and middle class. And of course, Democrat campaign workers posing as journalists, have participated in perpetuating the fraud by just repeating talking points without doing research or asking questions.
How many of them show up at the gabfests to pretend they are worried about their carbon footprint and heading towards net zero?
How many buy worthless pieces of paper called carbon credits to pretend they offset the carbon from their private jets?
Mark Zuckerburg, who spent $400 million to manipulate the 2020 election to defeat Trump, says he has to use the private jet because he can’t be safe otherwise. His company says he takes “guests” on these flights, which doesn’t exactly sound like security.
John Kerry says he has to use a private jet because it allows him to do more good as he chews out everyone else about their carbon footprint.
According to the New York Post:
Personal use of corporate jets has soared 50% as companies spend $65M on perk for execs
Executives using corporate jets for personal travel has soared 50% since the pandemic — a free perk that has cost their companies millions of dollars.
Among the companies spending big bucks on corporate jets, Meta Platforms topped the list in 2022, spending $6.6 million on the perk for personal flights for its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his then-lieutenant, Sheryl Sandberg, The Journal found.
The figure marks a 55% increase from 2019.
Zuckerberg has been criticized for his company jet’s carbon footprint, though Meta has said that the private plane is necessary for “maintaining Mark’s safety while enabling him to go about his life with minimal disruption.”
In addition, public utility company Exelon — owner of Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison utility — more than tripled its spending on freebie flights for executives since 2019.
The fraud in this green agenda dwarfs any other fraud we have ever seen and there is not one piece of scientific data that shows the radical green policies will change temperatures or limit storms and maintain sea levels where they are.
Isn’t it time that the media stopped pretending that Democrats are transparent and that their policies on the climate, COVID, and electric cars are based on the truth or science?
It is a massive fraud and most of the media is as guilty as perpetuating the fraud on the American people as the government and the carmakers. It is no wonder they seek to shut up those of us who have continually told the truth that the climate has always changed cyclically and naturally and pointed out the fraud for what it is, by calling us climate change deniers and anti-science.