The U.S. Export-Import Bank recently steered hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loans to Spanish green energy conglomerate Abengoa, which happens to share an advisory board member with the bank.
The Ex-Im Bank approved a $78.6 million direct loan to Spain-based Abengoa in December. It also approved a $73.6 million direct loan to a wind farm in Uruguay, which is owned by Abengoa.
Former Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson sits on both the Abengoa International Advisory Board and is currently listed on the Ex-Im bank’s website as a member of the advisory committee that helps guide bank policy.
Richardson was not listed in the Ex-Im Bank’s November announcement of its 2013 Advisory Board members.
“Mr. Richardson had no role or communication with anyone in the Bank regarding that transaction,” said a spokesman for the Ex-Im Bank. “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.”
It is unclear, though, if Richardson joined the Ex-Im Bank’s advisory board before or after the decision to extend the loan was made. The Ex-Im Bank did not immediately respond to a follow-up inquiry.