President Obama speaks in Racine, Wisc., today on the economy. We trust this Wall Street Journal editorial was on the top of his pile of pre-trip briefing materials this morning. From “The Bucyrus Travesty“:
The manager of a Milwaukee custard stand on Friday asked Joe Biden for lower taxes in return for dessert, and the Vice President told him not to be “a smartass.” Perhaps on his own visit to Wisconsin today, President Obama will have a better answer for the latest blue-collar casualties of his Administration’s anticarbon obsessions.
Last Thursday, the U.S. Export-Import Bank denied loan guarantees to Reliance Power Ltd., an Indian utility building a coal-fired power plant near Sasan, India. Bucyrus International Inc., a South Milwaukee-based manufacturer, was ready to export some $310 million in mining equipment—and about $600 million over three years—but Reliance’s order was contingent on the favorable financing rates provided by the Ex-Im guarantee. Reliance cancelled the order Monday morning and will reboot with Bucyrus’s competitors in China or Belarus if the bank doesn’t reverse in the coming days.
The Reliance-Bucyrus deal met all of the Export-Import Bank’s qualifying criteria, including the tougher environmental and CO2 standards that the White House has imposed over the last several months. But the bank nonetheless rejected the project in a 2-to-1 vote under pressure from the Treasury and State Departments. “We were absolutely flabbergasted and shocked,” Bucyrus CEO Tim Sullivan told us in an interview.