by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s taxpayer-funded push to build a “clean energy economy” is benefiting the left’s most prominent billionaire megadonors, including Bill Gates and Laurene Powell Jobs, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found.
Biden’s Energy Department has in the last two months announced nearly $3 billion in loans to two electric battery companies, Redwood Materials and Ioneer, which are backed by seed funding from Gates, Jobs, and other left-wing billionaires. Now those billionaires, who have poured millions into the effort to win Democrats power in Washington, are likely set to see a handsome profit from their initial investment. Ioneer, for example, won a $700 million loan from Biden and saw its stock price increase by 33 percent after the announcement.
Biden’s Energy Department is funding Redwood and Ioneer through its Loan Programs Office, which is no stranger to controversy. Under former president Barack Obama, the office approved a $529 million loan to electric car manufacturer Fisker, which declared bankruptcy in 2013 and was subsequently sold to China. The office was largely dormant following Fisker’s taxpayer-funded failure—until Biden’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act funded it to the tune of more than $300 billion. Congressional Republicans such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) warned that the money would create a “green energy slush fund”—predictions that are now proving true.
Biden’s green energy grants are going to groups funded by the same people who poured money into dark money groups that helped get Biden elected. In July 2021, Redwood raised $700 million from a “carefully selected group of strategic investors,” including Gates and Powell Jobs, who participated in the fundraising round through their investment firms. Ioneer, meanwhile, boasts Texas billionaire John Arnold as a major shareholder, according to an October SEC filing.