What if I told you that we are subsidizing a bank to make $2 billion worth in loans to foreign green energy companies? What if I told you that 2/3ds of House Republicans voted (and 3/5 of Senate Republicans) to reauthorize this bank, even after conservatives warned about its follies for months?
Well, that is the story of the Export-Import Bank. This, from the Heritage Foundation:
The U.S. Export-Import Bank inked a $2 billion clean-energy loan offer with South Africa to help fund the country’s green-energy push and drum up sales for America’s renewable industry, according to an announcement made last week.
The 18-year loans will target wind, solar and thermal power in particular, said Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im chairman and president. They could provide additional business to a host of clean-energy manufacturers, including California-based SolarReserve.
SolarReserve received a $737 million Department of Energy loan guarantee in 2011, and estimated to create 45 permanent jobs once construction is complete. The company’s 110-megawatt solar plant will begin operations in late 2013.
The Export-Import Bank, which provides taxpayer-subsidized loans to U.S. exporters, has faced criticism for distorting the market and engaging in crony capitalism. It was recently reauthorized by President Obama and Congress despite strong objections from conservatives.
I’m wondering how many of those Republicans are willing to take back their votes?