Democratic News

Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman today announced a hearing for Tuesday, March 13, on the "Report of the Independent Consultant's Review with Respect to the Department of Energy Loan and Loan Guarantee Portfolio."  The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Room SD-366 of the Dirksen Building.

Former Treasury Department official Herbert Allison, who lead the comprehensive review of DOE’s loan guarantee program and wrote the study, will testify.  U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who appeared before the Senate Energy Committee last week, will return to testify as well.

“Many people have told us over the years the loan programs at the Department of Energy are vital to maintaining U.S. competitiveness in advanced energy technology.  I think Mr. Allison has published a careful and thoughtful analysis of the DOE’s loan programs, with some useful recommendations for managing the program going forward,” Bingaman said. 

“As the report makes clear, Congress established these programs to support innovative projects employing technologies that have not reached commercial maturity, and thus were not likely to receive support from commercial debt markets.  That’s why Congress provided money up front to account for anticipated losses.

“The report gives reassurance that the accounting for the risks of DOE’s loans appear to be accurate, and gives no indication that decisions were made on any basis other than the merits.  It also provides a number of recommendations to further improve these programs.  Many of these are similar to approaches that Sen. Murkowski and I have incorporated into the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) legislation that we’ve reported from the Committee.  I look forward to hearing from both Mr. Allison and Secretary Chu.”

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