Democratic News

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about the Administration’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2021. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Committee, highlighted the importance of his comprehensive American Energy Innovation Act. He also expressed his disapproval of the drastic cuts to many offices and critical programs contained throughout the President’s budget request.

“We know how important it is that we are on the cutting edge of energy innovation, which is why our bill sets a game plan for strong R&D at DOE. Unfortunately, based on the President’s budget request this year, this administration doesn’t appear to be on the same page, as evidenced by the proposal to make drastic cuts to the Department’s Offices of Science, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Nuclear Energy as well as eliminating critical programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy,” Ranking Member Manchin said.

Ranking Member Manchin questioned Secretary Brouillette on the Department of Energy’s failure to spend appropriated funds for the Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program, which provides federal loan guarantees to innovative energy projects. The Appalachian Storage Hub, which would store natural gas liquids that could be used by the petrochemical industry, has a pending Title XVII loan application.

“There has to be a reason that there is such a low amount going out the door either it’s so cumbersome or they need some help and assistance. I think you’re moving in that direction, I hope so. But the President again has recommended wiping out the Title XVII  program, which has the greatest opportunity to help us for the 21st century energy needs. So, if you could report on that, what you’re doing, and what you intend to do as we have to restructure this budget request the President put in?” Ranking Member Manchin asked.

“With regard to the structure of the program itself, it appears to me that we have some requirements in place that may slow down the process. I’ve asked for a formal review, for instance, of the equity requirements as part of this program. I don’t know that they’re inappropriate, but I can’t be assured that they’re appropriate either. I’ve asked our loan program office to completely review those rules and requirements to simply ensure that we’re not putting artificial blocks in the way of loans being made through the program.” Secretary Brouillette said. “You have my assurance that we have begun that process to look at those rules and regulations within the program.”

To watch the hearing in full, please click here

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