House Republicans Threaten To Slap Biden’s Green Energy Loan Czar With Subpoena

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a letter to DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO) Director Jigar Shah on Tuesday, criticizing his “inadequate” cooperation with the committee’s earlier requests for information and threatening “compulsory process” if the DOE does not issue the appropriate documents by Feb. 6. Shah has drawn scrutiny from Congressional Republicans for his continued association with a green energy trade group he established before joining the Biden DOE as the agency’s green energy loan czar, and his office has either committed to or provided loans to companies allegedly engaged in securities fraud or exploiting elderly customers.

“Recent reports, your testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the exponential expansion of the LPO’s loan authority of over $400 billion have raised legitimate questions regarding how the program plans to spend taxpayer dollars,” states the letter, which was signed by Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, H. Morgan Griffith of Virginia and Jeff Duncan of South Carolina. “As the LPO continues publicly to emphasize its commitment to transparency, full cooperation would have provided this program office with an opportunity to address these issues. However, you have failed to cooperate in a meaningful way with the Committee’s efforts to exercise its constitutionally based oversight responsibilities.”

Letter to DOE LPO Director Shah by Nick Pope on Scribd

The purpose of the LPO is to provide green energy companies with loans that the private sector would not offer, according to the office’s website. The Biden administration supercharged the office, which was behind the Solyndra scandal during the Obama administration, lining its coffers with approximately $400 billion in taxpayer funds to help spur innovation in the green energy space, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Republicans in both chambers of the legislature have previously written to the DOE demanding answers and information regarding LPO’s operations, but the agency has yet to provide the majority of the requested documents, the letter states.

After the LPO conducted its due diligence process on Li-Cycle, a lithium ion battery recycling company, the office agreed in principle to extending the firm a $375 million loan in February 2023. However, the company was allegedly defrauding investors between June 2022 and October 2023, a window within which the LPO decided that Li-Cycle was a worthy recipient of federal funds.

Li-Cycle is not the only troubled company that LPO has offered to loan a massive package of taxpayer dollars. The LPO offered a $3 billion package to Sunnova, a solar company that allegedly exploited elderly customers on their deathbeds by convincing them to sign multi-decade, five-figure rooftop solar contracts, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Republicans have also pressed for documents and information regarding Shah’s continued association with the Cleantech Leaders Roundtable, a green energy trade organization that he founded and subsequently left to take over the top job at the LPO. The trade group has seen its membership and influence surge in the time that Shah has handled LPO’s loan portfolio, according to the Beacon.

The DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Nick Pope on January 23, 2024


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