Green corrupt deal: Biden energy czar invested in energy firm set to get $1.5 billion

by WorldTribune Staff, January 5, 2024

Jigar Shah, the director of the Department of Energy’s loan office, was a major investor in a hydrogen fuel company that was on the verge of bankruptcy but now stands to receive $1.5 billion from the Biden Administration, a report said.

Jigar Shah, head of the Department of Energy’s loan office. / Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Shah’s office “is working to fast-track” the funds to Plug Power, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday.

Generate Capital, an investment firm that Shah founded before joining the Biden administration in 2021, loaned over $100 million to Plug Power, Securities and Exchange Commission records show.

Plug Power repaid the $100 million to Generate Capital at a 9 percent interest rate last December. At that time, Plug Power was in negotiations with Shah’s office for the Department of Energy (DOE) funding, according to corporate disclosure filings.

“The repayment was three years ahead of schedule, at a time when the hydrogen fuel company was warning investors about its financial viability,” the Free Beacon reported. “The financial relationship between Plug Power and Generate could raise new questions for Shah, who is already facing scrutiny from Congress over his links to other companies that have received funding from his office.”

In November, Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter to DOE questioning a $3 billion loan to Sunnova, a solar company that shares a board member with a private trade group founded by Shah. The trade group, Cleantech Leaders Roundtable, has also hosted paid events where loan-seeking companies can meet Shah, the Free Beacon reported in October.

“Such an intertwining of personal, political, and professional relationships raises further questions about the impartiality of loan approvals and the susceptibility of the process to undue political influence,” wrote Barrasso.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Plug Power’s stock late last year, citing “significant risk around PLUG’s business model.” The company’s share price dropped steeply in 2023 due to concerns about its financial performance.

But Shah has continued to promote Plug Power. Last year, he praised Plug Power for “single handedly forcing the world to do green hydrogen,” and noted that he “helped invest in [Plug Power] while I was a debt provider.”

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