May 20, 2015

The Export-Import Bank’s Green Portfolio Benefits Familiar Firms

Veronique de Rugy

George Gibbs Chair in Political Economy
Summary

The Export-Import Bank of the United States, the official export credit corporation of the federal government, is often criticized for favoring large, politically-connected corporations like Boeing and Caterpillar; for a lack of transparency and accuracy in their data reporting, job creation methodology, and risk calculations; and for unnecessarily tilting the scales of competition in the direction of favored industries.

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The Export-Import Bank of the United States, the official export credit corporation of the federal government, is often criticized for favoring large, politically-connected corporations like Boeing and Caterpillar; for a lack of transparency and accuracy in their data reporting, job creation methodology, and risk calculations; and for unnecessarily tilting the scales of competition in the direction of favored industries.

One industry that has enjoyed considerable growth in Ex-Im assistance is the green energy and sustainability sector. Many of the green firms that receive Ex-Im benefits have enjoyed benefits from a number of other federal programs. A comparison of only a few of these programs shows that many firms “double dip” into Uncle Sam’s many corporate welfare programs funded by US taxpayers.

This week’s charts use data from the Export-Import Bank’s dataset on project applications and the Department of Energy’s 1603, 1703, 1705, and ATVM (Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing) loan programs to display green energy- and sustainability-related projects and firms that the Bank funded from FY 2007 to FY 2014, along with the firms that received funding in at least two programs during the same time. 

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