Green handouts shaped SVB biz, DeSantis exposes book-ban hoax and other commentary

POLITICS: Green handouts shaped SVB biz, DeSantis exposes book-ban hoax and other commentary

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Climate war: Green Handouts Shaped SVB Biz

“If government funds it, they will come,” snarks The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel. “That’s one overlooked story line” in Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. In recent years, SVB’s clients have “skewed in one direction,” including 1,150 in the climate-tech and sustainability sector. The bank provided services to startups that weren’t profitable and would’ve had a harder time getting loans elsewhere, i.e., “subprime firms” — knowing the federal government was offering “handouts” to such companies. Congress’ $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, for instance, “was a starting gun for a clean-tech frenzy,” making “hundreds of billions” available. The Inflation Reduction Act “threw yet more dollars at green innovators.” And when SVB failed, Team Biden “swooped in” to make “all those clean-tech companies whole.” “Talk about a favored industry.”

Energy beat: Legislating Power Outages

Legislation in Albany would put “state government in the renewable-energy construction business” and shutter fossil-fuel power plants “that generate an essential share of electricity in New York City and on Long Island” without a realistic plan to replace the lost power, warns the Empire Center’s James E. Hanley. By 2030, “the Build Public Renewables Act would require the New York Power Authority . . . to shut down all fossil fuel energy production and build or buy only renewable power.” Yet the state would need more time to build renewable projects “to replace NYPA’s natural gas and dual-fuel generators.” Even the agency’s boss “has argued that ‘the bill’s mandates . . . are simply unworkable.’ ” BPRA risks NYPA’s ability to provide “the power that keeps the lights, air conditioning, and electric heat on.”

Media watch: DeSantis Exposes Book-Ban Hoax

At Ron DeSantis’ recent “Book Ban Hoax” presser, the Florida gov corrected a “misleading narrative,” writes Dave Seminara at City Journal. First, the event showed clips of reporters criticizing him “for his alleged attacks on free speech,” “empty bookshelves” in school libraries and “bans on books” about black baseball stars. Yet then he showed images of sexually explicit content found in the schools, and “local TV cut their feed,” thus proving DeSantis’ point — some books in school libraries “contain inappropriate content.” It turns out only “23 school districts in Florida have removed a total of 175 books,” most of them pornographic, violent or otherwise inappropriate. DeSantis has not banned books; “Floridians can still buy any book [they] want, whether or not inappropriate titles are removed from school libraries.”

Foreign desk: Biden’s Misguided ‘Forever War’

President Biden’s “misguided belief” that his “forever war” approach to Ukraine “will force Russia to the negotiating table” misses “opportunities to turn bloody battles . . . into potentially game-ending ‘checkmates,’ ” argue Mark Toth & Jonathan Sweet at The Hill. Putin uses “the time Biden is giving him” to add “military pieces to the chessboard,” like “the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ‘hypersonic’ ballistic missile” — even as “Xi Jinping sees an opening to use Biden’s apparent unwillingness to go for a decisive win as a means to weaken the U.S. ahead of any potential conflict in Taiwan.” It’s time “to give Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the pieces he needs to ‘checkmate’ Putin.”

Conservative: Joe’s To Blame for Bank’s Fall

President Biden vows a “full accounting” for Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, but that would mean him taking “responsibility for the reckless governance that helped create the environment that made” the bank’s fall possible, charges The Federalist’s David Harsanyi. “The Fed wouldn’t have been compelled to aggressively raise interest rates if Biden had acted” responsibly. Instead, he and the “entire left-wing political infrastructure” dismissed warnings of inflation, and Biden signed off on trillions in new spending. Sure enough, inflation began “spiking.” Yet even then, Biden sought to spend $5 trillion more. The prescription now: higher interest rates to slow growth. Yet after SVB’s fall, “the Fed has to think twice” about that, “because it might lead to widespread bank runs.” We’re left with “few good options.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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