Larry Kudlow: These major energy provisions are insane

Kudlow shreds the Inflation Reduction Act

In recent nights, you've heard my double-barreled criticism of the so-called "Inflation Reduction Act," a $750 billion monstrosity that does not reduce inflation, does not reduce global warming, does raise taxes for middle-class working folks, will deepen recession and has not one iota, scintilla, whit, shred or morsel of economic growth incentives. 

An Economist/YouGov poll shows that just 12% think the bill will reduce inflation, but 40% think it will increase inflation. Speaking of recession, we had a soft retail sales number today and the GDP tracker from the Atlanta Fed dropped to 1.6% growth in Q3, from 2.5% just ten days ago and, as you know, GDP declined in the first two quarters of the year. 

Big-box retailer Target reported a 90% drop in profits and sales fell way below estimates. Yesterday, housing starts and permits fell significantly. A new TIPP poll showed 62% of Americans believe the U.S. is in a recession. 

As the Biden Democrats have repealed Donald Trump's successful tax-cut, deregulation and energy dominance policies in a mere 20 months, the economy has turned from boom to bust, but until the GOP recaptures Congress and saves America by repealing this bill, we're going to have to live with this monstrosity. 


President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden and the White House COVID-19 Response Team participate in a virtual call with the National Governors Association from the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House Complex on Monday, Dec (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)

So, I want to point out two major energy provisions you may not be familiar with. Both are insane. First is the national climate bank, a $27 billion government bank will be administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA. Now, you might ask what banking or credit risk or payment facilities the EPA has. If you guessed "none," you'd be right. 

This is a green "slush fund" to hand out favors to Biden world’s political allies. There's a $7 billion bucket for low-income and disadvantaged communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There's an $8 billion bucket also earmarked for low-income and disadvantaged communities to fund direct or indirect investments in renewables lacking financial access and a third bucket of $12 billion to be used broadly to support renewable projects nationwide. 

In other words, no strings attached. I think it would be much more efficient if the government were to just write a simple direct check to the Democratic National Committee. Right? But, that's not all. 

Also buried in the legislation is $250 billion for the Energy Department.For context, the entire DOE budget in FY 2021 was around $40 billion. Now, to be sure, the $250 billion is predominantly loan guarantees, although there will be direct lending in there too. 

Here, too, you might ask what banking experience the Energy Department has or how many credit risk officers they have employed. Again, if you answered zero, you'd be right. Washington wags are calling this Solyndra on steroids. Not bad and this is a bit like the IRS story. Remember, the bill created a second IRS by doubling its budget and the number of its agents? Double your pleasure, double your fun. 


When it comes to the Energy Department, it's 600% your pleasure and fun. I can see a Solyndra Industrial Complex growing up overnight on this one and, in the spirit of empirical accuracy, it behooves me to note Bjorn Lomborg's research, using the U.N. climate model, that calculates that the $400 billion climate spending binge will reduce global warming, best case, by 28 thousandths of one degree Fahrenheit or, worst case, by 9 ten-thousandths of one degree Fahrenheit. 

 In other words, nothing. Sure hope the cavalry is coming to save America and repeal this bill. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the August 17, 2022, edition of "Kudlow."