America wants to attract foreign direct investment, DOE loan chief says

The Department of Energy official overseeing the Biden administration’s vast portfolio of clean-energy loans defended the department’s processes and goal of attracting foreign direct investments Thursday, even as lawmakers battle over whether any of the money should go to companies that do business with China.

“America wants to attract foreign direct investment,” Jigar Shah, the director of the Department of Energy’s loan program office, said during POLITICO’s Energy Summit in D.C. “We want to attract some of the best and brightest companies from around the world to invest here in the United States and create jobs here in the United States. So I think we can do both attracting foreign direct investment and avoiding folks who have track records that are ones that we want to stay away from.”

Shah said the department examines loan recipients on a “person-by-person basis” and conducts background checks to “make sure that nobody who has direct ties to authoritarian regimes … are allowed in the program.”