U.S. Department of Energy Inspector General Teri Donaldson recently raised significant concerns regarding the Biden administration’s ability to effectively oversee a monumental $400 billion green energy loan program. Here’s the full story.
The Stakes Are High
Speaking before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Donaldson shared the enormous financial stakes and potential risks to taxpayers posed by the current structure of the DOE’s loan program.
The Enormous Budget
Under the Inflation Reduction Act enacted in August 2022, the DOE’s Loan Programs Office experienced a dramatic surge in budget and loan authority.
This infusion of funds, totaling over $400 billion, was a pivotal component of the IRA’s mandate.
The Biggest Contributor
Donaldson disclosed that the IRA alone boosted the LPO’s loan authority by an astounding $350 billion, primarily through the $250 billion Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program/Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee to boost green energy initiatives.
Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 allocated $20 billion in loan authority to the DOE LPO, while the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act added an extra $15 billion.
A Challenging Acceleration
The sheer scale of this loan authority, coupled with the accelerated pace at which Congress expects projects to be funded, presented an unprecedented challenge for the department.
Unprecedented Level of Risk
Donaldson said, “You have massive amounts of money moving quickly.
All of these things happening at once create a level of risk that may, candidly, be unprecedented in terms of amounts of federal money moving in such a complicated landscape.”
“On the issue of not funding our adversaries, I am greatly concerned about how things are going in that regard.
The department has set up a vetting center, which is a step in the right direction. But it is now six months old, it has three employees, and it has no written procedures,” she continued.
No Clear Path
“There is no clear path on what projects will be vetted, and what criteria will be used when they are vetted. It has a very, very long way to go, and that’s of huge concern to me,” she added.
The Joint Report
Donaldson’s warning follows a comprehensive joint report published by Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, highlighting multiple shortcomings in the conception, implementation, and execution of the IRA.
Wake Up to the Threat
The report said, “We need to wake up to the threat, not finance it. The IRA should not be used to fund America’s Chinese competitors.
Unfortunately, it appears few real safeguards are in place to prevent this misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
“Progressives Keep Regressing”
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “So tired of this broken record. Unless China and India have a woke moment (impossible in any reality) this is a moot point. But progressives keep regressing on as usual.”
Biden Doesn’t Care
Another user added, “That is the point, they want to enrich their supporters, it used to be for the children, now it is for the planet.
Biden doesn’t care. It’s not his money. He’s wasting our money. $33 trillion in debt.”
Joe Biden Is Corrupt
A third user commented, “Everything Joe Biden does is corrupt as hell.
The same goes for the liberal Administration; most of the money goes to supporting corrupt judges and other liberal organizations.”
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