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

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.

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Richard Greene
February 4, 2023 11:19 pm

E. Worrall remains the best climate and energy reporter on the internet, always answering the question: How will the Climate Howler Global Whiners screw us next week?

This article was recommended today at my climate science and energy blog, on a list that will eventually contain 12 to 24 good articles: Honest Climate Science and Energy

I can imagine Jumpin’ Joe Bidet wanting to outdo Obama’s Solyndra “investment”, never realizing Solyndra was a total failure.

Bidet will then have Kamala “the word salad queen” Harris make a public announcement about the new Solyndra. No one will know what she was talking about, but no one will ask, because of her skin color, and the fact tact she is a woman.

John “why the long face?” Kerry will be sent to China to find Chinese companies looking for “free” money to invest in the US.

AOC will jump in front of the nearest TV camera to announce this $400 billion was good for racial justice, diversity, inclusion, and equity, whatever that means.

This is not a banana republic, I think, it’s the US ruled by Dumbocrats.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 14, 2023 5:54 pm

Never mind the solyndra failure. It was all about the face time, photo ops and media quotes that mattered. Just like most other government boondoggles.

Phillip Bratby
February 4, 2023 11:47 pm

Why has it suddenly become “global heating”?

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 5, 2023 12:28 am

The British Guardian newspaper started it because “warming” wasn’t alarming enough apparently. Then the rest of the Climate Change Gang joined in because hyperbole in the service of a noble cause is never wrong. The climate juggernaut is now worth $TRs a year and so ordinary things like facts and logic will never slow it down and now they have inspanned the AI Chatbot to spread the propaganda it will gain momentum.

It does feel like a David and Goliath struggle and it feels like our slingshot needs a v.2.0 upgrade. These palookas are trying to eat the world.

Reply to  Keitho
February 5, 2023 12:36 am

The Grauniad is unhinged…

“dogs can be vegan, yet only 1.6% are.”


Peta of Newark
Reply to  strativarius
February 5, 2023 1:16 am

Innit just amazing how it’s possible to so completely miss a point

i.e. The lives and existences of the pets, of whatever variation, are reflections of the lives of their owners/keepers

And it is the relentless tsunmani of finger-wagging and guilt-induction spewed out by the Grauniad (BBC and Government also = all so in bed together it’s embarrassing to behold) which leads to that

Sometimes, things are just sooooooo big, nobody can see them.

And THAT is why Climate is a trivial problem (everyone ‘sees’ it) and Soil Erosion is such big/real problem (nobody sees it)

Also Obesity = another (haha) big problem but because it is so painfully and blindingly obvious, covered up by Political Correctness, Junk Science and wilful blindness.
Big Pharma is not so blind – ffs, how can anyone NOT see a $4 Trillion per year gravy train?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 1:35 am

Careful! Nanny will hear you..

Richard Greene
Reply to  strativarius
February 5, 2023 1:36 am

Dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet, but it does not necessarily mean it is a healthy one. By leftist logic that doesn’t matter because they “know’ global warming will kill their dog anyway.

As a cat owner, I can say they can’t digest plant material well, and they require essential nutrients that only meat can provide to them. They aren’t adapted to digesting a plant-based diet, and meat absolutely needs to be on the table when you are feeding a cat. I keep my cats indoors. When outdoors they never eat grass or plants, just small moving objects. They will eat wheat grass, for unknown reasons, but can’t survive on it.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 5, 2023 4:41 am

The sharp, pointy teeth are probably the best indicator of what Nature intended the little critters to eat. Sometimes, the obvious goes around people with an agenda to grind…

Richard Greene
Reply to  spetzer86
February 5, 2023 6:40 am

If my male cat is hungry, he will wake up the wife by biting her toe in the bedroom. Very sharp teeth. I keep my toes covered.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 5, 2023 5:54 am

They [domestic mousers etc] use grasses as an emetic – to purge.

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 5, 2023 10:05 am

I have a Maine Coon cat … and she eats 95% pure animal protein. She’s happy as a clam and healthy … which I won’t be changing

Reply to  strativarius
February 5, 2023 6:14 am

Pet ownership is bad for pets.

Not sure if the Onion…

It doesnot add up
Reply to  niceguy12345
February 5, 2023 6:38 pm

PETA is bad for pets. Nothing to do with our correspondent from Newark.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 5, 2023 1:28 am

Global overheating next month, following a worse than we thought announcement. Leftists have to go with whatever boogeyman name market tests the best.

Currently being tested with focus groups:

annihilation.cataclysm.catastrophe.devastation.holocaust.decimation.end of the world.I proposed Global Whining, Invasion of the Climate Snatchers, and also suggested global warming would bring back the dinosaurs, the scariest boogeymen of them all, so Jurassic World Warming would work great.

But those pesky Climate Howlers threw me out of the focus group for not taking the climate emergency seriously. A tough crowd. They can’t take a joke. Even though the coming climate crisis is a joke.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
William Howard
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 5, 2023 7:24 am

but WUWT reports tht there has been no warming for 8-9 years – the pause

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 5, 2023 12:29 pm

Why has it suddenly become “global heating”?

”global scorching” is next on their list…

Steve Case
February 4, 2023 11:52 pm

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.

They will probably negotiate it down somewhat and think they scored a victory.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Steve Case
February 5, 2023 12:54 am

That’s how Governments of all colours work

They announce: “We’re gonna spend £x billions$ on abc”

Prudence (an acquaintance of Shirley) will then pipe up to say:”You cannot do that – we simply haven’t got the money

OK” say the announcers, “we’ll compromise and spend half x on xyz instead

And its win win win for everyone

Prudence thinks she’s got a win and the announcers can broadcast to a gullible audience how clever they are in that they’ve just ‘saved‘ half of x dollars.
Everyone fawns/votes as appropriate and then demands to know how these savings will be spent coz it was their money to start with

Fact is they, nobody in fact, ever even had half x dollars to start with.

And you thought Money Printing was bad enough, half the time the stuff is just dreamt about and then comes into existence

Richard Greene
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 6:51 am

The wife has used that spending strategy or 45 years.
Example: Wife shows me used high quality mink coat she bought at an estate sale for $1,000, and claims she saved many thousands of dollars. I respond “You just spent $1,000, so you didn’t really save anything. If you saved thousands of dollars, give them to me and I’ll spend them.” Then I get the ‘men don’t know anything look’.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 6, 2023 10:21 am

At least is wasn’t a plastic coat made from a FF derivative, and it was a RECYCLED product, so to thumbs up on the RIGHT (LEFT) side of the climate/ecology spectrum.

But, she is a total failure from a PETA perspective, owning anything animal is a sin.

Reply to  Steve Case
February 5, 2023 10:09 am

Mitch McConnell is a strong believer in CAGW. He’ll be capitulating to the Dem’s in … 3-2-1 …

February 5, 2023 12:04 am

Well that’s one way of putting it to the wokester watermelons-
Stakeholder capitalism is ‘communism in drag’ (msn.com)

February 5, 2023 12:10 am

Any fool can spend a large sum of money.

Reply to  ThinkingScientist
February 5, 2023 3:17 am

And a fool and our money is easily parted

Reply to  ThinkingScientist
February 5, 2023 10:10 am

Evidently … it takes a staff of 200 to spend our foolish tax dollars

Reply to  kenji
February 5, 2023 8:11 pm

Probably just the salaries

February 5, 2023 1:10 am

The labor of America’s people is the essential collateral for the federal debt (you agree when you accept a SS number). The west gave up on debtor’s prisons some time ago, but what about China? This may be part of a set-up to move the forced labor enclaves west (or east, I guess, if you want to be pedantic about the compass).

February 5, 2023 1:26 am

Scotland leads the way!

“…having to use diesel generators to de-ice faulty turbines is environmental madness.”

Diesel isn’t cheap!

Reply to  strativarius
February 5, 2023 5:10 am

It’s cheaper that the windmills, though.

Reply to  Oldseadog
February 5, 2023 5:11 am

But they’re using diesel and windmills together…. Surely you got that?

February 5, 2023 1:56 am

Its really puzzling. Why, given the historical record, does anyone think that it has been shown that CO2 is a driver of global temperature? Its clear from looking at the series that temperatures rise and fall without any preceding change in CO2 levels.

On the other thread, we have been having a discussion with Nick Stokes about whether the rise in temps of the last few decades can be shown to have been caused by the CO2 rise over the same period.

I cannot see how we can be confident of that, unless we understand what caused all the temperature fluctuations in the past, which happened without being caused by CO2 rises. Sometimes the temperature rises without a CO2 rise, sometimes it falls when there is a rise. At the moment the two rises seem to be happening at the same time, but how do we know CO2 is causing temp to rise?

The counter-argument seems to be roughly that we know CO2 rises will increase air temps (presumably from IR absorption). There have been air temp rises, there have also been CO2 rises, so don’t worry about the past, we know what has happened this time. CO2 has risen, temps have risen, one obviously caused the other.

My reaction to this is, lets wait another couple of decades. We may be on the verge of another of the historical falls of temps which happened in the face of high or rising CO2 levels. Without understanding why temps fluctuated historically we cannot simply assume that because there is something new happening, that caused the latest one.

I imagine, for instance, a Chinese scientist in 1850 confronted with another in the endless series of plague outbreaks. It doesn’t look much different from the others, maybe a bit more widespread. But his information on the previous ones is less certain and detailed than what he has on the present one.

Does he look around for something that has changed, and when he finds it, conclude that the present outbreak has a totally different cause than the unknown cause of the others? Like, for instance, the arrival of the Western traders?

Surely not. He treats the current episode like all the others and looks for the common cause of them all?

Reply to  michel
February 5, 2023 2:07 am

sorry, posted this in the wrong thread…! Can you delete it, and I will post in the right one?

Richard Greene
Reply to  michel
February 5, 2023 7:01 am

Adding greenhouse gases to the troposphere inhibits Earth’s ability to cool itself. But CO2 above 400ppm is already weak greenhouse gas i a lab, so there’s nothing to worry about. In the atmosphere, CO2 will still be a weak greenhouse gas. But CO2 improves C3 photosynthesis plant growth, so more CO2 is good news. If more CO2 causes some unknown amount of warming, then so what? The effects of CO2 with and without water vapor can be measured in a laboratory. The effects of CO2 in the atmosphere ought to be similar but are just a guess because there are so many other climate change variables. We know, however, that CO2 increases of +50% since the lid-1800s have been harmless for humans and animals, and good for plants
Honest Climate Science and Energy: Nine causes of climate change

Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 3:09 am

From the article: “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.”

Well, I just heard a Republican congressman from Florida, Michael Waltz, say last night on Fox News that fighting climate change was essential.

So Republican Michael Waltz is not going to stand his ground over wasted green energy projects. He thinks they are essential to our survival.

Mr. Waltz needs to have a long talk with Dr. Happer. Maybe that will shake him out of his climate change delusions.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 5:20 am

Representative Waltz voiced concerns that the Chicom Spy Balloon issue was going to complicate China and America working together on climate change.

I have a lot of respect for Repesentative Waltz. He is a war veteran and on other subjects is right on point, but obviously he has been completely fooled by the CO2-phobes among us and thinks CO2 is something that needs to be controlled.

Not everybody can be up to speed on everything. Waltz needs to talk to Dr. Happer. That will bring him up to speed on CO2. Maybe.

Skeptics should be skeptical of Republican pushback on Human-caused Climate Change. There are too many of them who think like Representative Waltz.

We need a skeptic in the White House.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Abbott
Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 3:12 am

From the article: “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”

America is not going to shift away from fossil fuels.

America is going to shift away from delusional politicians who are trying to do away with fossil fuels.

Biden only has two more years, and then the situation will change dramatically if a Republican is elected president. Assuming the Democrats don’t steal the election.

February 5, 2023 6:13 am

Is a small majority a good or bad thing?

CD in Wisconsin
February 5, 2023 7:02 am

“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 list of failed solar businesses in the link below is old (2013). But I think it reflects the dysfunctional thinking of the Biden administration for believing it can revive a solar panel industry here in the U.S. with another $400 billion.

Rest in Peace: The List of Deceased Solar Companies, 2009 to 2013 | Greentech Media

Recall Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Dr. Bob
February 5, 2023 7:42 am

The problem with the LPO isn’t that they are lending money to renewable energy projects, it is that they cannot discern which projects are viable and which are dogs. I reviewed 29 projects that the DOE wanted to fund in the renewable fuels area. Of those 29 projects, 1 had the potential of being commercially viable. They had $30M in the program to spend so they spent $1M on each program refusing to cholse winners or losers. Thus, none of the projects got sufficient funding to fully develop the technology. This is the root problem at DEO. Inability to make critical decisions. The “everyone is a winner” mentality is the root cause of the problem.

February 5, 2023 7:57 am

Perhaps the Republicans in the House can use this opportunity to question the cost/benefit calculation for the various proposed projects. Using the known $$$ spent on Global Heating and the apparently lack of results how can he justify the projects he is funding?

The Government’s $/ton of CO2 in economic benefit(?) should be brought forward. Can he justify using this constant in his benefit calculations? What has history shown – what are actual costs and actual benefits obtained?

This is an opportunity for the Republicans to show the public some actual waste. Bring up Solyndra again. The MSM is going to be all over the debt limit debate and this is an opportunity to justify some of the proposed cuts.

In closing I don’t believe most Congressmen are concerned about cuts or justification – they recognize a fat hog when they see it. We are Doomed.

February 5, 2023 8:46 am

Lend lease revisited? All’s fair in lust and abortion.

Andy Pattullo
February 5, 2023 9:40 am

I think the US government could save a lot of time and billions in administrative costs if they just burn the money now. If it made them feel any better, they could buy some useless carbon credits to make up for the CO2 released in the process.

February 5, 2023 9:42 am

Green Energy = Green Democrat Greed. Loot the Till has never been so apparent, and even the grandchildren of these drooling goldrush journalists will seriously suffer for this stampede.

February 5, 2023 10:02 am

Really … from 12 overpaid government employees to 200 overpaid government employees?
Really … a 1,567% increase in government employees? For a corresponding decrease in energy efficiency?

welcome to Democrat math

Janice Moore
February 5, 2023 12:34 pm

China: Show me the money.

Solar-Wind-Other “Clean Energy” Scammer: Here.

China: Where you get that kind of cash?

Scammer: The Big Guy.

China: We give Big Guy 10%. He good investment.

(turns to leave, then stops) Why you buy this junk anyway?

Scammer: My buyers think they will die without it.

China: HA, HA, HA!

comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Janice Moore
February 5, 2023 3:37 pm

It should be remembered that the Solyndra fiasco began under the Solar America Initiative of the G.W. Bush era, as a program run through the Dept. of Energy. By the time Obama came to Wash. DC, Solyndra was already a sinking ship.

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