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Watchdog: Accountability

Export-Import Bank loans millions to Spanish firm; Bill Richardson advises both

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Watchdog,Michal Conger,Export-Import Bank,Ethics,Waste and Fraud,Accountability,Energy and Environment

A Spain-based green energy company whose advisory board includes former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson recently received $33.6 million in taxpayer funds from the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., where Richardson also sits on the advisory board, according to the Washington Free Beacon's C.J. Ciaramella.

The Export-Import Bank approved the loans to Abengoa International to fund export of American-made solar panels to Spain and South Africa, and estimated abut 200 U.S. jobs would be created as a result.

Richardson is a member of Ex-Im's 2013 advisory board, according to its website, and he joined Abengoa's advisory board in 2011.

The Ex-Im Bank also awarded $152.2 million to Abengoa in December 2012.

“Mr. Richardson had no role or communication with anyone in the bank regarding that transaction,” a bank spokesman told the Free Beacon.

“His appointment to the advisory board was made public only after he had been fully vetted by the bank, which occurred after the initial press release was issued,” the spokesman said.

Richardson had previous connections to the Ex-Im Bank as well, according to WFB, headlining a 2004 fundraiser for former Ex-Im director Diane Farrell.

Farrell later voted to approve an $83 million loan to Abengoa in 2011 while she was still director, according to WFB.

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