US Export-Import Bank reconsidering Bucyrus decision

posted at 2:55 pm on June 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Over the weekend, I wrote about the anti-coal policies of Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress coming home to roost in Wisconsin, where 1,000 jobs were put at risk when the US Export-Import Bank refused to loan Bucyrus money to win a contract in India.  The bank claimed that it refused to make the loan in direct consequence of the stated climate-change priorities of Obama and the Democrats.  A few days later, the bank is backpedaling:

The U.S. Export-Import Bank backed down Wednesday from an environmental-protection stand that threatened to cost hundreds of U.S. jobs.

The federal export-credit agency said Wednesday its board will reconsider a decision last week against providing loan guarantees to help finance the purchase of U.S. coal-mining equipment by Reliance Power Ltd of India. The Ex-Im Bank had denied that support on the ground that the equipment was to be used to feed a new coal-fired power plant that will create carbon-dioxide emissions.

In a letter to Reliance Wednesday, the bank invited the company to reapply for the guarantees. The bank said it now would take into account Reliance’s plans to build two solar-powered electricity plants in India and their potential to offset environmental damage from the coal project.

Why the sudden change?  Hmmm:

The reversal came just in time for a visit by President Barack Obama today to Wisconsin, the home base of Bucyrus International Inc., which hopes to sell the mining equipment to Reliance with the help of loan guarantees. President Obama is due to give a speech on the economy in Racine, Wis., and then take questions from the public.

Top Democratic politicians in the state had protested loudly to the White House and Congress over the denial of the guarantees. Ex-Im Bank officials then scrambled to find a way to rethink the decision.

Well, if I was in charge of Bucyrus, I wouldn’t count my chickens unless Obama decides to visit Wisconsin again to hatch some eggs.  Being invited to reapply for the loan guarantees doesn’t necessarily mean that the bank, which is run by Congress, will approve them the second time, either.  Obama should have his feet held to the fire today in Racine on this issue, and the crowd shouldn’t allow him to brag about the reconsideration without noting that it was his policies that got the first application rejected.

What other projects has the Export-Import Bank rejected for the same reasons?  Will this lead to a change in policy, or will the E-I Bank only respond when people make a big enough stink about Obama’s jobs-killing global warming policies?


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During the Clinton Era, ExIm denied Caterpillar loans to build machinery for China to use at Three Gorges.

SlimyBill on June 30, 2010 at 2:59 PM

It’s a combination of Democrat politics and the fact Bucyrus is a union shop.

Meanwhile, it’s not a completely done deal. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that it is contingent on the Indian company also building an unspecified number/dollar amount of built-in-America “green energy” products.

steveegg on June 30, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Can we survive until January 2011?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2010 at 3:09 PM

We all know he goes to bed at night thinking about the BP oil spill and wakes each morning with the spill on his mind…or was that making peoples lives better?…no….the security of the American people?… The next White House concert? I’m sure the Ex-Im thing was an innocent misunderstanding.

cartooner on June 30, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Adults in charge!

jukin on June 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

What’s that funny smell?

Why I do believe it just might be a simmering expiration date.

Dusty on June 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

What other projects has the Export-Import Bank rejected for the same reasons?

Ed, offshore drilling. Think about it… think about it….

upinak on June 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

From day one.

Destroying the economy from day one. This is what inexperience looks like. Also our blockade of oil spill skimmers has been very successful.

seven on June 30, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Apparently somebody noticed that this decision would provide the GOP with a freighter-load of ammo for November.

Frankly, they’re conflicted: either [A] they p!ss off their ‘green’ base, [B] they take it in the shorts in negative ads during a tanking economy.

Boo-hoo for Obozo and his cronies.

CPT. Charles on June 30, 2010 at 3:25 PM

seven on June 30, 2010 at 3:20 PM

‘Salting’ the fields of their foes.

CPT. Charles on June 30, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Out of curiosity, is Im-Ex the bank funding the 2 biliion dollar loan to Georg Soros and Petrobras so they can drill in 14,000 feet of water in the gulf?

paratisi on June 30, 2010 at 3:54 PM

speaking of Exports….I’d like to export our President and his whole administration to that Predator planet I keep seeing the trailers for on TV.

search4truth on June 30, 2010 at 3:59 PM

What do ya bet they were thinking this would be a good way to stick it to Paul Ryan? Racine is part of his district.

Too conspiratorial?

lizzie beth on June 30, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Obama: This certainly is a marvelous facility you have here. Lots of good union jobs. It would be a shame if you were to lose your market. You know I’m going to need your help with these dastardly republicans who are trying to sabotage everything we’re doing here.

Skandia Recluse on June 30, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Well, if I was in charge of Bucyrus, I wouldn’t count my chickens unless Obama decides to visit Wisconsin again to hatch some eggs. Being invited to reapply for the loan guarantees doesn’t necessarily mean that the bank, which is run by Congress, will approve them the second time, either.

Exactly what I was thinking, after reading the portion about reapplying. At this point, it’s like putting the cart before the horse. It’s also amazing this insipid slight of hand being done by Democrats, in order to make Obama look good, when behind the veil, it most likely won’t be approved, after Obama is safely out of the state.

capejasmine on June 30, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Another trip? How many of these 1 million dollar trips has he taken just this year?

Is the WH included in the Carbon Offset program? He’d have to reforest Illinois by now.

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 30, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Presidenting is hard.

This is one reason why you have a Political Affairs shop in the White House – to make sure your policy agenda doesn’t get you in trouble in an election year and have local officials screaming at you. I had direct experience with the Reagan White House on this sort of thing. Lee Atwatrer would never have allowed a stupid decision like this. You find away to finesse it and save the jobs while also not betraying your policy agenda. This is nothing more than gross incompetence by the White House.

Now who is White House Political Director? None other than Patrick Gaspard, our friend from New York SEIU who is now in hot water for failing to report his $40,000 in severance pay from SEIU. This Ex-Im Bank decision would be a good reason to throw him under the bus now.

rockmom on June 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Too conspiratorial?

lizzie beth on June 30, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Not at all! In fact, it’s a two-fer or a three-fer: punish Ryan & his constituents, advance green technologies, perpetuate AGW mythology. There ya go! How’s that for conspiratorial?

ExpressoBold on June 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM

The application denial will come just AFTER the Greatest Orator since Cicero bores eveyone in Racine into torpor.

DDT on June 30, 2010 at 6:44 PM

where 1,000 jobs were put at risk when the US Export-Import Bank refused to loan Bucyrus money to win a contract in India. The bank claimed that it refused to make the loan in direct consequence of the stated climate-change priorities of Obama and the Democrats. A few days later, the bank is backpedaling:

Great! Obama has made us a banana republic with business decisions made by the politics of the President.

Zimbabwe here we come.

RJL on June 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Guess the White House/Dems figured out how to make money off of this.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 1, 2010 at 12:23 AM