Nonproliferation Policy Education Center

Post image for The Case against the Clean Energy Deployment Administration, a.k.a. the Green Bank

Today, I participated in a telephone press conference on the Department of Energy Loan Programs Office and a proposed Clean Energy Deployment Administration. They are similar, in that they both are tasked with using taxpayer money to subsidize financing for “clean” energy sources. Each is intended to function like a green bank.

My colleagues on the call were: Ryan Alexander, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense; Henry Sokolski, Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center; Andrew Moylan, Vice President for Government Affairs at the National Taxpayers Union; and Jack Spencer, Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Here’s the attendant press release, with a link to audio from the press conference; here’s a coalition letter we (and others) signed to urge the Congress to shelve the proposed Clean Energy Deployment Administration, which is under consideration in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Below are my introductory remarks.

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Post image for More on Energy Department’s Awful Green Bank

Yesterday, I participated on a panel discussion about the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program for low carbon energy sources. I’ve long been a fierce opponent of the DOE’s green bank—see here, here, here, and here for my take.

In a nutshell, I argue that investment banking is well outside the core competency of Energy Department bureaucrats, so there is no reason to believe that they could start a successful green bank from scratch. Even if they could, political concerns would trump economic reasoning, such that loan authorizations would get funneled to the well-connected, instead of the deserving.

Regarding this last point, consider this recent report by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News, on the remarkable correlation between the success of DOE Loan Guarantee applications and the amount of money that the applicant raised for Barack Obama’s campaign for the White House.

In addition to the panel, we also organized a coalition letter to the House Appropriations Committee, on the need to excise the DOE’s green bank from the budget. Signatories included CEI, Taxpayers for Common Sense, George Marshall Institute, National Taxpayers Union, and the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. Click here for a copy of the letter.