“No More Solyndras” means lots more dirty energy
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6213, the “No More Solyndras Act,” which allows uneconomical and dirty coal and nuclear projects to remain eligible for loan guarantees through the Department of Energy’s Title XVII program while precluding new applicants, including those from more advanced renewable technologies, from becoming eligible. The Title XVII program currently has $30.5 billion in loan authority for dirty coal and nuclear projects and only some $4.5 billion in authority for renewable energy and efficiency projects, and H.R. 6213 would leave all of that authority intact.
Applications for projects such as the Medicine-Bow liquid coal facility in Wyoming, the Vogtle nuclear reactor in Georgia and the United States Enrichment Corporation front end uranium enrichment project in Ohio remain eligible for loan guarantees under H.R. 6213. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been an outspoken proponent of a loan guarantee for the USEC project in his district and USEC received a $100 million earmark yesterday in the continuing budget resolution. House leadership precluded most amendments from being considered, including an amendment by Representative Tom McClintock (R.-Calif.) that would have ended the Title XVII program entirely.
The Title XVII loan guarantee program was created as part of President Bush’s Energy Policy Act of 2005. President Obama attached a temporary loan guarantee program for renewable energy onto Title XVII as part of the 2009 stimulus bill. This temporary program has now expired.
Friends of the Earth’s tax analyst, Ben Schreiber, had the following statement in response to the bill’s passage:
“House leadership is preaching fiscal responsibility while preserving handouts for the oldest, dirtiest and riskiest technologies. This is at best disingenuous.
“No one serious about protecting taxpayers would guarantee a liquid coal facility for a former Enron executive or a uranium enrichment facility for a company with junk bond status — but that’s what this bill allows. This whole exercise is nothing more than a transparent attempt by House Speaker John Boehner to score political points now and to commit billions of nuclear pork for his district for the future.”