Biden Green Loan Czar To Shell Out Over $1 Billion To Firm Linked To His Old Trade Group — And His Current Office

(Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Nick Pope Contributor
Font Size:

The Biden administration’s green loan czar is looking to loan more than $1 billion to a green technology company that is connected to his old trade association and his current federal office.

Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) Director Jigar Shah announced Tuesday that his office has reached a conditional commitment to loan Entek, a company that makes electric vehicle components, up to $1.2 billion in taxpayer funds. Entek has supported the Cleantech Leaders Climate Forum, the “sister nonprofit” of a trade group that Shah started before joining the Biden administration and a co-host of a 2023 green energy conference organized in tandem with LPO.

Entek was a “giga level” supporter of the Demonstrate Deploy Decarbonize 2023 (Deploy23) conference, a green technology conference held in Washington, D.C. in September 2023. The conference was organized by the Cleantech Leaders Climate Forum and LPO, where Shah currently works, according to its website. Notably, KORE Power — a green tech firm that reached a June 2023 conditional agreement with LPO for $850 million — is also listed as a supporter of Deploy23. (RELATED: House Republicans Threaten To Slap Biden’s Green Energy Loan Czar With Subpoena)

Jigar Shah (L), now director of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office, speaks as British tycoon Richard Branson (R) of the Virgin group of companies looks on during the Creating Climate Wealth Summit in Sydney on July 7, 2011. (Photo via Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of the Deploy23 conference, the Cleantech Leaders Climate Forum promoted Entek as a “generous supporter” in a post to the nonprofit’s LinkedIn page. The Cleantech Leaders Climate Forum describes itself as the “501(c)(3) sister nonprofit to Cleantech Leaders Roundtable, the nation’s most prominent private cleantech community” that Shah established before he joined the Biden administration.

“One week from Deploy23! The date is approaching fast but not faster than how our generous supporter ENTEK Manufacturing LLC is accelerating the future!” reads the Cleantech Leaders Climate Forum’s post to LinkedIn.

Now, about nine months later, Entek is one step closer to receiving a massive taxpayer-funded LPO loan to help the firm build a manufacturing facility for electric vehicle (EV) battery separators in Terre Haute, Indiana. The development announced Tuesday is a conditional agreement, meaning that the firm “must satisfy certain technical, legal, environmental, and financial conditions” before the government actually funds the loan.

Shah wrote that he is “really excited” about the loan in a Tuesday post to X.

Shah’s participation in paid Cleantech Leaders Roundtable events through his stint in the Biden administration has attracted considerable scrutiny from government watchdog groups and elected Republicans. Each have essentially alleged that the trade group has functioned as a de facto gatekeeper of access to Shah and his $400 billion war chest at LPO.

Specifically, Republicans Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington stated in an October 2023 letter to Shah that the links between DOE and the Cleantech Leaders Roundtable “[give] rise to perceptions of a pay-to-play scheme, where access to DOE loans could be potentially influenced by affiliations with Cleantech Leaders Roundtable.”

“Once again, a recipient of funds from DOE’s Loan Programs Office appears to have a tie to Jigar Shah, the man who heads the office,” Michael Chamberlain, executive director of a government watchdog group called Protect the Public’s Trust, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s just another of those crazy coincidences that seem to come with the Biden administration’s massive green giveaways – whether from the DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, or others.”

LPO loan packages have previously been offered to troubled firms or entities linked to the trade group during Shah’s tenure at the DOE’s green energy financing office.

Republicans have pressed for documents and information regarding Shah’s continued association with the trade group, which has seen its membership and influence grow considerably in the time that Shah has taken charge of LPO’s loan portfolio, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Separately, after the LPO conducted its due diligence process on Li-Cycle, a lithium ion battery recycling company, the office agreed in principle to extending the firm a $375 million loan in February 2023.

The company was subsequently hit with a class action lawsuit alleging securities fraud was ongoing at the time LPO conditionally approved the loan, but a federal judge tossed out the litigation for good in June, according to Bloomberg Law.

Nevertheless, its stock is currently trading at about $4.68 per share, a massive fall in value from its 2021 peak of above $110 per share, according to data from Google Finance.

Li-Cycle is not the only troubled company that LPO has offered to loan a pile of taxpayer cash. The LPO offered a $3 billion package to Sunnova, a solar company that allegedly exploited elderly customers on their deathbeds by convincing them to sign pricey long-term rooftop solar contracts, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

Additionally, Shah was a major investor in a hydrogen fuels company called Plug Power, which subsequently received a conditional commitment from LPO for a $1.6 billion loan, according to the Beacon. The outlet also reported in December 2023 that a lobbyist and friend of Shah’s has helped her clients secure hundreds of millions of dollars in financing through LPO.

“This looks like another clear example of programs under Mr. Shah’s control being a boon for the administration’s inside crowd and favored industries,” Pete McGinnis, communications director for the Functional Government Initiative, told the DCNF. “This follows previous allegations of possible conflicts connected to Shah’s former employer and their supporters. It’s disturbing that the practice seems to continue unchecked.”

The DOE, Entek and the Cleantech Climate Leaders Forum did not respond immediately to a request for comment. The Cleantech Leaders Roundtable could not be reached for comment.

Owen Klinsky contributed to this report.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact