Groups ask DOE to fix loan program

By | October 14, 2010
Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and six other groups sent a letter in September to U.S. DOE Secretary Steven Chu asking him to restore funding to the Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program and fix shortcomings of the program.

The letter followed the withdrawal of $1.5 billion from the program in August. In total, lawmakers have "borrowed" $3.5 billion to pay for shortfalls in state revenues and the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Program funds are now 60 percent below the level that was appropriated by Congress. In addition, the DOE has been slow in dispersing its resources and has only issued one loan guarantee as of April 2010, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report.

"Our members have spent many years and billions of dollars collectively developing renewable energy technologies," the letter said. "Many projects are ready to be deployed, but due to the collapse of the global financial markets and the innovative nature of some of the technologies, they are having difficulty securing the necessary financing. The LGP was specifically designed to overcome these obstacles and its inaction sends the signal that the government is no longer a willing partner to the industry… we urge you to fix the shortcomings of the LGP so that we can continue to work together for a clean energy future in America."

Also signing the letter were the Clean Fuels Development Coalition; the Solar Energy Industries Association; the American Council on Renewable Energy; the Biomass Coordinating Council, American Council On Renewables; the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the American Wind Energy Association.