First Solar Benefits Massively from Biden’s Green Energy Legislation

Biden, as a presidential candidate, vowed to invest heavily in countering climate change. And First Solar, a top solar industry firm, was prepared to leverage this commitment.

In 2020, key personnel and major investors from First Solar, the country’s largest solar panel manufacturer, donated at least $2 million to Democrats. This included $1.5 million towards Biden’s successful presidential campaign. Following Biden’s victory, the company invested an additional $2. million in advocacy targeting his administration and Congress according to records including hightier meetings with senior government officers.

The Transition from Trump to Biden

This strategic shift is vastly different from the stance taken by the Arizona Based company during President Donald Trump’s tenure. Company executives openly disagreed with Trump’s unfavourable attitudes towards renewable energy at that time. This new course of action has proven extremely advantageous as First Solar became a leading recipient of nearly $1 trillion in environment related spending implemented under the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by Biden in 2022 with unilateral Democratic support.

Subsequently, First Solar’s share value has doubled and business profits have risen dramatically due to newly introduced federal subsidies that potentially could accumulate up to $10 billion over a ten year time span. This victory has resulted in substantial financial gains for a minor segment of Democratic donors who had significantly invested their capital into the company.

Significant Influence

Samantha Sloan, First Solar’s Chief Lobbyist provided an insight into the company’s influence after a bill signing celebration event. She publicly appreciated on LinkedIn all those Congressional employees who committed overtime hours ensuring that the new law would deliver as intended.

Angelo Fernández Hernández, a spokesperson for the White House, indirectly addressed First Solar’s attempts to gain favour with Biden’s administration. He stated, “Biden has led and delivered the most ambitious climate agenda ever,” He also added, “White House constantly interacts with industry leaders from all sectors, including clean energy producers along with gas and oil manufacturers.”

Supporting Domestic Manufacturing

The firm’s CEO Mark Widmar stated that the newly granted aid has contributed to enhancing First Solar’s domestic presence. He also implicitly criticised competitors tied to China which controls a significant portion of industry market share. He highlighted that unlike others who lobby extensively on behalf of Chinese firms bypassing US laws and creating strategic vulnerabilities First Solar pursues a policy supporting American jobs, economic growth, and energy safety.

Lasting Association with Democratic Supporters

Established in 1999 by a private equity group (which included an heir to Walmart fortune), First Solar took its company public in 2006 coinciding Al Gore’s groundbreaking film An Inconvenient Truth, raising awareness about potential climate threats. During President Barack Obama’s tenure, company executives built strong ties with Democrats who reciprocated by extending generous subsidies to their industry and specifically First Solar through billions in government backed loans.

Following the inception of Biden’s administration drafting rules for implementation of Democratic Party’s latest law, executives and lobbyists had at least four meetings in late 2022 and 2023 with senior government officers including John Podesta overseeing environmental provisions of this measure. Notable among these cooperative gatherings were Podesta alongside Widmar as well as Sloan and Claudia James, First Solars contract lobbyist known professionally for years to Podesta working hand in hand at a lobbying firm operated by Tony’s brother Podesta.

The position gradually rose to 15 million shares that got sold off in 2023 as the stock prices surged. The late Simons was an extraordinary contributor. Records indicate his family gave $25 million to Democrats in 2022. He publicly stated assisting Schumer in creating laws and labeled the New York Democrat as a close acquaintance, based on a 2020 verbal history interview by the American Institute of Physics.

Wrap up

First Solar’s triumph under Biden’s green power law showcases both opportunities and challenges connected with governmental aid for sustainable energy. While this law definitely aids both ecology and economic growth, it also illustrates how political donations and lobbying influence policy results, culminating in significant monetary advantages for those linked correctly.

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