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E&C Republicans Vow Strict Oversight Over Massive DOE Loan Guarantee Program


10.11.22

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) are vowing vigorous oversight over the implementation of Department of Energy’s (DOE) loan programs, which Democrats expanded in their massive tax and spending sprees.

The Energy and Commerce Republicans warn that $450 billion in new spending and loans for President Biden to achieve his radical energy transition is at significant risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. As Leader Rodgers says, it’s “Solyndra on steroids.”

She added, “The hardworking people of this country are paying for record high energy and food prices because of President Biden’s war on American energy. They cannot afford for him to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on a political agenda that forces an expensive ‘green’ energy transition, threatens energy reliability, increases costs, and makes America reliant on the Chinese Communist Party for batteries and solar panels. Energy and Commerce Republicans will hold DOE accountable for every cent spent to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted and the American people are protected.”

KEY EXCERPT FROM THE E&C GOP LETTER: “We write with regard to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) implementation of new programs and spending authority provided in the reconciliation legislation enacted this past August and the infrastructure legislation enacted in November 2021. All told, these two spending laws, enacted in less than a year and with little Congressional scrutiny of long-term taxpayer risks, appropriated more than $100 billion to the Department for use across its applied energy, electricity, and efficiency programs and provided new authorities for $350 billion in loan guarantees.”

[…]

“The scope and scale of this expanded loan authority, related credit subsidies, and rapid four-year timeline for making commitments, raise questions about increased risks of waste, fraud and abuse, especially if the administration uses the program for its rush-to-green agenda. Under the Obama administration, DOE’s loan program failed to put taxpayer interests first, and the Secretary allowed a political agenda to take over decision-making.”

To best oversee the DOE’s loan programs, the Members are asking Sec. Granholm to provide information to the Committee by October 25, 2022, including:

  • Provide a list of all current loan and loan guarantees in the Loan Program Office portfolio, including the specific borrowers, the statutory program under which commitment for loan or loan guarantee was made, technology sector, project status, disbursement status, repayment status, and any information pertinent to the current ability of the borrowers to repay the loans.
  • Provide a list of all open funding and financing opportunities, by statutory category, and include the number of applicants and technology in each category, including whether the applicants seek guarantees for first-of-a-kind technology.
  • Explain what the Department has done to address the four major risk areas to the Loan Program identified by the DOE Inspector General Special Report issued this past June 7, 2022.
  • Explain the Department review process for loan guarantee decisions, including for approval by the Secretary, and the role of independent departmental reviews and risk oversight.
  • Identify specific measures or requirements the Department implements to ensure loan guarantees will protect intellectual property, and not subsidize loss of intellectual property to China or other American adversaries.

CLICK HERE to read the letter to Secretary Granholm.

Letter