President Joe Biden on Wednesday bragged about his administration’s plans to build a solar farm in Africa that U.S. taxpayers are funding a $900 million loan for.
Biden’s boast occurred during a speech hosted by the League of Conservation Voters, in which he promoted his administration’s energy and environmental policies, including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a seemingly non-existent railroad from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean and “one of the largest solar plants in the world” in Angola. To fund this solar plant — which is a partnership between the Angolan government, and U.S.-based firms AfricaGlobal Schaffer and Sun Africa — the U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank on June 1 approved for a $900 million loan. (RELATED: Biden Says He Plans To Build A ‘Railroad From The Pacific All The Way Across The Indian Ocean’)
The EXIM Bank is an independent agency within the Executive Branch of the United States, which means the president does not directly control it. The agency is nonetheless backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, and charged with issuing loans to firms that “the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept” to support U.S. businesses abroad, according to its website.
BIDEN: “We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean…
I’m going off-script. I’m gonna get in trouble.” pic.twitter.com/M6GHT0dS8y
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 15, 2023
The president contrasted the U.S. investment in the African nation with China’s Belt and Road Initiative — an effort by China to invest in foreign infrastructure — which he dubbed the “debt and destruction initiative.” He said his administration would “help” Africa before concluding his remarks on China by saying “I could go on, but I’m not. I’m going off script, I’m going to get in trouble.”
China currently dominates the supply chain for minerals necessary for green projects like electric vehicle batteries and solar panels, thanks in large part to its control of mines located in Africa. The Biden administration has blocked several U.S. mining projects that would expand domestic access to such materials, drawing the ire of members of the industry, who say U.S. mining could help reduce the nation’s reliance on Chinese materials.
Biden on Wednesday also repeated an inaccurate government estimate of the cost of the IRA, his marquee climate law, which he claimed was a $369 billion investment by the federal government, seemingly citing a 2022 estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. This initial government estimate was predicated on the assumption that tax credits for green energy and manufacturing firms would cost roughly $270 billion, but private analysts now estimate that the cost of such credits could easily eclipse $1 trillion.
The White House did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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