CONTACT: MATT LETOURNEAU
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today said that he was pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy has received 143 pre-applications for federal loan guarantees for clean energy projects.
The guarantees, which request more than $27 billion in protection for project costs of more than $51 billion, were received by the Loan Guarantee Office in response to a DOE solicitation in August 2006. The program was authorized in Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 at the urging of Domenici.
“The loan guarantee program is intended to spur development of clean energy technologies. The fact that 143 pre-applications for loan guarantees have been received is evidence that there is significant private sector interest in developing new biomass, solar energy, and clean coal technologies,” Domenici said.
“I continue to support DOE’s efforts, and in fact I hope that the Department goes further to implement the loan guarantee program on the scale that was envisioned in the Energy Bill. The participation of government in supporting investment in these projects that promote clean energy represents a viable alternative to bureaucratic, regulatory, and tax increases proposed by some that will serve only to increase the cost of both carbon intensive energy and clean energy alike,” he continued.
In the FY2007 Supplemental Appropriations bill, Congress provided $7 million to operate the DOE Loan Guarantee Office, and the authority to issue guarantees for up to $4 billion in loans. For FY2008, the Bush Administration has requested $8.4 million to operate the office, with a loan volume limitation of $9 billion.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to investigate market constraints on large investments in advanced energy technologies and ways to stimulate additional private-sector investment in the deployment of these technologies. The hearing will be held in the Senate Dirksen Office Building, Room 366, at 9:30 a.m.