A Spanish renewable energy company under investigation by at least two federal agencies unveiled a new biofuel production facility on Friday that will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies.
Former employees of the company have alleged that it routinely engages in violations of U.S. immigration, environmental, and workplace safety laws and uses taxpayer funds to hire foreign workers in violation of federal regulations.
The company, Abengoa, received a $132.4 million loan guarantee and a $97 million grant to build a new biofuel plant Hugoton, Kansas. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback attended its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.
The company’s political connections are emblematic of an industry that remains reliant on taxpayer subsidies, according to William Yeatman, a senior fellow specializing in energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
“It could not be more clear that this company could not survive without access to government favors from political friends,” Yeatman said, citing its reliance on the Renewable Fuels Standard and continued financial support from DOE.
“Alas, the same can be said for the green energy industry as a whole, which would fast wither and die absent a steady diet of taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies,” Yeatman said.