Omnibus Bill Includes Bad Loan Guarantees

Omnibus Bill Includes Bad Loan Guarantees

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Instead of Change, It’s More of the Same from Democrats with Spending Bill Energy Subsidies

Omnibus measure provides massive subsidies to nuclear and coal industries when focus should be on promoting clean energy

WASHINGTON—Environmental groups learned this morning that the omnibus spending bill expected to come before the House of Representatives tonight and the Senate tomorrow directs $20.5 billion in loan guarantees to nuclear power and $8 billion to the coal industry, with language that includes potential subsidies for the production of coal-to-liquid fuels. Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder responded with the following statement:

“Just a week and a half ago, the House passed landmark legislation that would have put America on the path to a clean energy future, but after running into Republican opposition in the Senate, that bill was dramatically weakened. Now Congress is poised to vote on a spending bill containing massive subsidies for nuclear power and dirty coal. This isn’t a new direction that will help fight global warming—it’s a continuation of the failed energy policies of the past. We oppose this omnibus bill.

“Subsidizing new nuclear reactors doesn’t make sense. There’s nowhere to put the radioactive waste. More reactors and radioactive materials mean more targets for terrorists. Plus, private investors have repeatedly failed to finance new reactors because they are a money-losing proposition, and they will be a money-loser for taxpayers too. Instead of using Americans’ tax dollars to prop up polluting industries, Congress should be focused on promoting cleaner alternatives such as wind and solar. The inclusion of nuclear and coal subsidies in the omnibus bill and the bill’s failure to promote clean energy alternatives with equal force represent just the latest disappointment from this Congress. We are in the midst of a global warming crisis that demands much bolder leadership.”

Friends of the Earth waged a campaign against these loan guarantees that included paid advertising and grassroots efforts.