Thursday, May 21, 2009

Renewable and Nuclear Industries Team Up to Ask Obama to Get the Loan Guarantee Program Moving

Via the Green Inc blog:

Worried that an important loan-guarantee program has ground to a standstill, renewable energy industry associations sent a letter Wednesday to President Obama urging him to speed the program along.

The signers represented virtually every type of clean energy — wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, combined heat and power, and biomass — and reflected the industry’s concern that a loan guarantee program for clean energy projects approved in the stimulus package was stuck in the federal bureaucracy, as has been a similar loan program that predates the stimulus.

The letter, seen by Green Inc, cited “disagreements” between the Department of Energy and the Office of Management and Budget over regulations to carry out the loan guarantees. Three months have gone by since the stimulus packaged passed, the letter stated, “and we have little confidence that ongoing discussions between D.O.E. and the Office of Management and Budget over these regulations will produce a satisfactory result in a timely manner.”

“With access to these loan guarantees,” the letter continued, “our member companies will be able to start construction of planned projects that would otherwise need to be delayed or canceled due to current capital market conditions.”

Vice President Joseph Biden and the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, were sent copies of the letter, as were Energy Secretary Steven Chu; Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget; and several other senior officials.
It's profound that these industries came together to resolve this bureaucratic stalemate. Kumbaya comes to mind here. :-) Hopefully the letter will do its part.

Logos of the industries who signed the letter.

16 comments:

Ioannes said...

So why is Obama dragging his feet on new nuclear? I shall indeed dedicate a decade of the Rosary tonight that Obama will see wisdom in supporting clean, safe nuclear energy, but sadly, I am guilty of the sin of despair over this. Hopefully, your optimism is correct and my pessimism incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Ioannes, your partisan comments are getting old. I ask that next time you comment, please conrtibute something else. Nuclear energy has to have bipartisan support to succeed.. Quit trying to make it partisan. Thanks.

David Walters said...

I agree with Anonymous. Nuclear power will never, ever, develop if it becomes partisan football.

David

Anonymous said...

This is not about nuclear!!! The solar loans, the hydrogen loans, the electric car loans, the geo thermal loans, pretty much ALL of the cleantech money has been stopped cold for 7 months. Companies are going out of business because of it. Senators are screaming about it and they still won't write a check. The PRESIDENT must issue an EXECUTIVE order TODAY to write the checks within 7 days. Bank of America said they would have gotten it all taken care of 7 months ago after a 2 week processing period. Give it to the banks. WRITE THE DAMN checks. Stop with-holding America's future because of internal ego fighting. Publish the names of those who are holding it up!

Ioannes said...

Guys, it's not partisan to point out that Obama appointed Jackzo - an antinuke - to the nhead of the NRC. It's not partisan to point out that Wellinghoff - another Obama appointee - opposes new baseload plants (inlcuding nuclear). It's not partisan to point out that Chu - another Obama appointee - opposes Yucca Mountain which NEI supports, and Chu's first love is solar, not nuclear. It's not partsican to point out that John McCain when running for the Presidency wanted to build 40 new nukes right away, and Obama could do so with the 3 trillion dollars of debt he has loaded on our grandchildren. BUT Obama isn't doing so. I'm only pointing out the facts. Ingratiating yourselves with an Administration that is not and has never been pro-nuclear will get you nowhere.

Joffan said...

Anon II, it's not even about writing checks. It's just extending federal loan guarantees, that will get other institutions (eg. the Bank of America) to "write checks" or more practically set up the line of credit. And the government gets money (admittedly, not net, but initially) for the loan guarantees.

The loan guarantee program is on a short rein, held by Congress, that limits the amount it can dispense - but as far as I know you are right in that the Congress-set limit has not been reached, so the current blockage is in the executive branch. Both branches need to move to roll out and extend the program, though.

David Bradish said...

Obama appointed Jackzo - an antinuke - to the nhead of the NRCHere’s what Jazcko said at the NAYGN conference over the weekend:

“So what does all this mean for those of you in this audience? I believe you have a bright future with fun new challenges to tackle ahead of you. With that opportunity also comes responsibility. I would ask that when it comes to nuclear safety, never be complacent. To ensure the use of nuclear materials is safe and secure, always base your decisions on a foundation of sound science and policy, coupled with a questioning attitude and diversity of thought.

I appreciate the opportunity to be with you today and share a little about the NRC. I wish you well in you careers and look forward to answering any questions you have.”

Doesn’t sound anti to me.

Wellinghoff - another Obama appointee - opposes new baseload plants (inlcuding nuclear).And who appointed Wellinghoff to the commission in the first place?

Chu - another Obama appointee - opposes Yucca Mountain which NEI supports, and Chu's first love is solar, not nuclearSo what about Yucca? The nuclear industry won’t die without it. Chu has expressed great support for nuclear and that’s what matters. I don’t care if he loves solar more as long as he sees and believes in the benefits of nuclear energy. There are more than one energies in this world.

Here’s a nugget for you. No money was doled out from the loan guarantee program authorized by EPACT 2005 during the Bush years. Yet, three months after being Secretary, Chu doled out a loan guarantee. Three years from Bush and nothing, three months from Obama and it’s something.

It’s partisan when you continue to cherry-pick what you don’t like about the Obama Administration when you don’t see the rest of the picture.

Ioannes said...

Kindly read this:

http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2009/05/is-nuclear-energy-partisan-issue.html

Ioannes said...

Dave, thanks for the fact-cheking. You've done a good job of cherry picking yourself. Anytime there is any possible way to make Obama look pro-nuclear, you do so. Well, maybe you're right. I hope you're right - for the nation's sake because that's what is really important. Time alone will tell, and the clock is ticking.

Anonymous said...

and this broken record about McCain would have built 40-50 nukes has got to stop too. He never once said during the campaign HOW that would be done, or WHO would pay for it.

McCain emitted a lot of CO2 about promoting nuclear power in his stump speeches last year, but that was because he wanted to be elected president. At this week's Senate markup, all he offered was a sense of the Senate (ie, non-binding) resolution saying go forward with Yucca. Nothing about building 40-50 plants. Nothing else to support nuclear at all.

Where's his initiative to build those nukes today? In the trash can along with all those COUNTRY FIRST buttons.

Ioannes said...

I had forgotten - it's not true to say that the nuclear industry got nothing from Bush. DOE funded a lot of work on the Westinghouse and GEH's designs before Bush left. Indeed, a lot of DOE money was flowing in GEH. And Bush started GNEP with many other nations. And Bush paved the way for US-Indian nuclear power cooperation, and GEH is involved in a deal with the Indians because of this.

As to my distractor on who would pay for McCain's 40 new nukes, why obviously the same people who will pay for Obama's 3 trillion dollar debt (that isn't financing ANY new nukes, but has "loan guarruntees"). The cost the 40 new nukes would have been far less and would have had a far more saluatory impact on the country.

As I said, I hope Dave Bradish is right. But this infatuation with all things Obama is quite misleading. Bush was far, far better towards the nuclear industry. The only President to actually visit an operating nuke plant - Calvert Cliffs - and proudly proclaim the benefits of nuclear power. What a shame his name is reviled so much by those who should be his closest friends.

David Bradish said...

I hope you're right - for the nation's sake because that's what is really important.If you hope we're right, then can we get ya to start persuading more on the left to support nuclear instead of complaining about them? That would be great, thanks.

Ioannes said...

Dave,

Based on what you said, I wish the left have their President give Gregory Jackzo from the Commission a good talking-to. Considering that you say this new NRC Chairman is NOT anti-nuclear, do you agree with his vote in support of Mothers of Peace who opposes spent fuel storage at the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility?

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/orders/2008/2008-26cli.html

Do you agree with Gregory Jackzo about Oyster Creek’s drywell, because of which he opposed license extension for Oyster Creek?

Do you agree with Gregory Jackzo’s opposition to the Yucca Mountain spent fuel repository (for which opposition he worked on behalf of Senator Harry Reid)?

Do you agree with Ed Markey’s anti-nuclearism against the Pilgrim nuclear power station, and nuclear energy in general, which Gregory Jackzo supported when he was on his staff?

-----

More liberals need to think carefully about what and whom they are supporting. Obama said in his run for Presidency:

"We can't drive our SUVs, and eat whatever we want, and keep our homes at 72 [degrees] all the time, whether we live in the desert or the tundra, and keep consuming 25% of the world's resources with just 4% of the world's population... That's not going to happen."

I disagree - there's enough uranium and thorium in earth's crust for every human being on Earth to live at the same standard as the average American, and to do so for millennia on end, and to do so without pulluting the environment. I hope to see Obama's mindset change, and I pray for his conversion nightly (about this and other things). I realize that despair is a sin, but frankly, my hopes aren't high.

David Bradish said...

Ioannes, let me ask my question again: If you hope we're right, then can we get ya to start persuading more on the left to support nuclear instead of complaining about them?

You're an engineer in North Carolina. Certainly you have an interesting story to tell about your experience in nuclear that I'm sure others would enjoy hearing. Would you mind doing some of that instead of always complaining about people who don't 100% support our favorite technology? That would be helpful, thanks.

Ioannes said...

Yes, David, I will do so. But I don't agree with villifying George Bush as someone who didn't do anything for nuclear energy when he was nuclear energy's closet friend in the White House in decades. And I don't agree with characterizing the Obama Administration as pro-nuclear - at best they are ambivalent, but maybe our Democrat friends here can pursuade the Administration to change.

Yes, I do agree with supporting nuclear energy, whether that's done by leftists or rightists (is that a word?).

crf said...

This doesn't sound like a left-right partisan issue. Likely no politicians or political operatives are involved. It sounds like two or more competing midlevel bureaucracies are having problems agreeing on the rules for spending money.

This sort of thing happens all the time. It's an endemic feature of every single government that has ever existed. I'm sure it will get sorted out.