The United States Export-Import (ExIm) Bank is at it again. Bloomberg reports
the Bank “gave preliminary approval for $694 million in financing for billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project in Australia.”
Four quick questions about this 122-word report.
- Who is Gina Rinehart? According to Forbes, she is Australia’s richest person, worth an estimated $17 billion.
- Which U.S. companies will benefit? Companies like Caterpillar Inc. (market cap. $53.24 billion) and General Electric Co. (market cap. $273.98 billion).
In theory, the Export-Import Bank of the United States exists to increase the export of American-made products; in reality though, it exists to export
the Obama Administration’s global warming agenda.
There is ample evidence.
The Bank used American taxpayers to guarantee hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of loans for solar technology in India and the Ukraine in 2012. It doesn’t matter that solar energy is embarrassingly less productive than coal when taxpayers are left holding the bag.
A statement from Fred Hochberg, who was recently confirmed to his second term as Bank president, expresses the banks “readiness to help finance Vietnam’s infrastructure development in key sectors such as… renewable energy and other types of power.” But the Ex-Im Bank’s board of directors just voted not to proceed with financing U.S. exports to help build a coal fired power plant in Vietnam:
The decision was made after a “careful environmental review” of the 1,200-megawatt power plant.
Fred P. Hochberg, the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., who is currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate of his nomination for a second term, recently sent out the following Tweet
It comes as a mild surprise that Hochberg would see this as an opportunity for the Ex-Im Bank. After all, we have been told time and time again that China is leading the way when it comes to renewable energy. If they have been so successful and implementing the green energy agenda, why would the Ex-Im Bank need to backstop loans for even more renewable infrastructure?
This week, the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing
on the Export-Import Bank, an institution uses American taxpayer dollars guarantee loans in the name of increasing exports (think of Fannie Mae for exporters). Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) made the following remark in his opening statement
The Bank picks winners and losers in our economy by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, and direct loans to American exporters and purchasers of U.S. exports.
Some of those winners have included the likes of Enron and Solyndra – hardly worthwhile investments on behalf of the American taxpayer. A review of the Bank’s top ten recipients includes companies like Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar. I find it inconceivable that these companies would be in need of the government dole.
Put another way, the Bank ostensibly makes loans backed by taxpayers that the private sector is unwilling to make. If private creditors are unwilling to engage in these transactions, it begs the question why should the American taxpayer?
When you read an article about the Export-Import Bank and all the jobs it’s helping to create by “investing” in green energy technologies around the world, hold your applause. One such article
touts the $780,000, 10-year loan guarantee for the export of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules from a Georgia-based company, Suniva Inc., to a rooftop solar-power project in Mexico.
While some characterize Suniva as a “fast-growing solar startup often held up as an example of American innovation,” the Norcross, GA-based company is no stranger to the Washington game. According to Open Secrets, the company has spent $360,000 lobbying lawmakers.
In 2011, after expressing “displeasure” with Department of Energy’s “terms and conditions, Suniva abandoned efforts to secure a $141 million loan. Instead, the company received a hefty tax incentive from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority “to open a $250 million solar cell manufacturing facility in the Great Lakes Technology Solar Park.”