Yesterday, the US Ex-Im Bank denied loan guarantees for Reliance Power, an Indian utility company, to purchase up to $600 million in mining equipment from Bucyrus International, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer. Reliance was planning to build a coal-fired power plant in India.
Bucyrus employs more than 1,000 people. These jobs in turn help support many more jobs in the Milwaukee area.
Ex-Im turned down the project even though Buycrus met all of the recently toughened environmental and CO2 standards of the EPA. According to the Wall Street Journal today, the refusal was the result of "pressure from the Treasury and State Departments".
I have a few comments:
1. The basis for the refusal of the loan guarantees is just bunk. Too much CO2 pollution? ?? So now Reliance will just buy equipment from China, where environmental safeguards are... nonexistent. The result of this decision will therefore be to INCREASE the CO2 pollution of the project.
2. This is a sign of things to come from the Obama administration. They're proving they just don't care about jobs.
3. This is the same Obama administration that provided Ex-Im financing for Brazilian oil drilling...
The only silver lining is that Republicans can use the decision as part of their campaign against Russ Feingold and every other Democrat running for election this fall. Republicans should ask the question, why is the Obama administration actively destroying US jobs and increasing CO2 pollution? To me, this issue is a red-hot opportunity to draw some big distinctions. I'd start the ads right away!