Biden Nominates A Saudi Energy Company Board Member for Energy Department Post

( In August, the White House announced President Biden nominated for the Department of Energy’s undersecretary for infrastructure an American who currently sits on the board of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned energy company.

David Crane serves on the board of Saudi Electricity Company, something the White House conveniently left off of his CV when his nomination was announced on August 3.

According to the financial disclosure Crane released last week, in the past year, he has received more than $100,000 from the Saudi company, including over $90,000 in bonuses.

The state-owned Saudi Electricity Company is central to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the global infrastructure investment program. Through it, the Saudis have allowed China to lay millions of feet of smart energy meters.

Over the years, the Chinese government has loaned the Saudi Electricity Company billions. The company also signed agreements with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Before joining the Saudi Electricity Company board in January 2021, Crane served on the board of ACWA Power, a private Saudi-based company also involved in numerous Belt and Road Initiative projects.

While the White House claims Crane is a “leading business voice in the field of sustainability, clean energy, and climate change,” the Saudi Electricity Company generates nearly all of its power through fossil fuels.

Crane has been nominated to head up a post the administration created in February to oversee the distribution of $62 billion from the so-called bipartisan Infrastructure spending plan. Crane would be responsible for overseeing investments under the Grid Infrastructure Office and the Loan Programs Office.

Crane also has links to Russian energy company EN+ Group whose largest shareholder is Russian oligarch and Putin ally, Oleg Deripaska. In 2019, EN+ Group put Crane in charge of getting the Treasury Department to lift sanctions on the company over its ties to Deripaska. Crane was paid $150,000 for his efforts.

Crane is also a major shareholder in EVgo, an electric car charging station company likely to receive a windfall in funding from Biden’s infrastructure program.