published : 2023-10-28

Biden Climate Czar's Secret Meeting with Flailing EV Company Raises Concerns

John Podesta assembles with Rivian Automotive CEO Robert 'RJ' Scaringe and a team of lobbyists

John Podesta discussing clean energy initiatives at a press conference (taken with Canon EOS R5)

President Biden's clean energy czar, John Podesta, recently held a clandestine meeting with the CEO of an electric vehicle (EV) company that has struggled financially and heavily relies on taxpayer funding, according to White House visitor logs reviewed by sources.

The meeting took place at the White House in June and included Rivian Automotive CEO Robert 'RJ' Scaringe, as well as the company's senior policy director, Chris Nevers, and senior public policy manager, Corey Ershow. Izzy Klein, a lobbyist for Rivian, was also present.

The purpose of the meeting and its discussions remain undisclosed, as both the company and the White House declined to comment on it.

Critics argue that Podesta's involvement with Rivian raises concerns about the allocation of taxpayer funds and the potential for favoritism in the clean energy sector.

Daniel Turner, the executive director of Power the Future, expressed skepticism about the use of funds allocated in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), claiming that they are not appropriately distributed to actual green energy investments.

Turner further suggested that failing green energy companies like Rivian are seeking Podesta's support due to his influential position and access to substantial resources.

Rivian Automotive CEO Robert 'RJ' Scaringe showcasing the company's electric vehicles (taken with Nikon Z7)

The Biden administration appointed Podesta to lead the White House Office of Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation in September 2022. Podesta's office plays a pivotal role in implementing programs within the Democrats' $739 billion climate and tax bill, known as the IRA.

The unprecedented level of funding for green energy projects under the IRA has raised concerns about potential abuse and exploitation, as highlighted by Department of Energy Inspector General Teri Donaldson in a recent Senate hearing.

Rivian, a California-based EV company founded in 2009, has faced significant financial challenges, reporting billions of dollars in losses since going public in 2021.

Despite its financial struggles, Rivian has been able to secure substantial government subsidies, including tax credits and incentives from various states, as well as federal support through policies like the IRA-established $7,500 tax credit for EV buyers.

The company has also formed partnerships with major corporations such as Amazon, aiming to produce 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030.

Critics argue that the government's support of companies like Rivian raises questions about the allocation of public funds and the fairness of a system where favored companies receive financial backing while others struggle.

Protesters advocating for transparency and fair distribution of green energy funding (taken with Sony A7 III)

These concerns are amplified by connections between Rivian and influential figures like George Soros, whose nonprofits have donated significant amounts to the Podesta-founded Center for American Progress. Soros is also an investor in Rivian through his hedge funds.

Despite the challenges faced by Rivian and similar companies, President Biden has consistently championed the electric vehicle industry as a crucial part of his climate agenda. He aims for 50% of all car purchases in the country to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030.

As the intrigue surrounding Podesta's meeting with Rivian unfolds, questions arise about the transparency, fairness, and potential conflicts of interest within the government's support of the green energy sector.

The ramifications of these decisions extend beyond the financial health of individual companies, impacting the future of the American economy and the affordability of basic necessities for the American people.