Barrasso alleges conflict of interest in billon-dollar DOE loan

By Nico Portuondo | 06/05/2024 01:43 PM EDT

The Wyoming Republican is questioning a $1.66 billion loan guarantee to Plug Power.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) at the Capitol on Tuesday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member John Barrasso says the Department of Energy may have unduly agreed to finance a hydrogen company with connections to a high-ranking agency official.

The Wyoming Republican sent a letter Wednesday to Inspector General Teri Donaldson requesting a full investigation into a recent conditional commitment to provide Plug Power — a hydrogen fuel cell company — with a loan guarantee worth more than $1.66 billion.

Barrasso says the conditional award could be another example of DOE Loan Programs Office Director Jigar Shah doling out money to energy companies he has close ties with.


“Given the significant financial implications and the need to maintain public trust, a thorough investigation into the LPO’s conditional commitment to Plug Power is essential to ensure transparency and accountability within the LPO,” Barrasso wrote.