On Bipartisan Basis, Committee Rejects Termination of Loan Guarantee Program Innovative Clean Energy Program Moves Forward
WASHINGTON, DC— Today with a bipartisan vote of 3-39, the Energy and Commerce Committee rejected a proposal to terminate the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program. With this vote, the Department receives a strong bipartisan signal that it should continue its mission to help capital-intensive clean energy projects move forward. This will enhance the nation’s global competitiveness and promote the development of low carbon energy technology. The amendment to terminate the program was offered by Rep. Markey in order to test whether the Republicans actually wanted to end the program. Twenty five Republicans voted against the amendment, which would have terminated the program.
"If cynicism was an Olympic sport, Republicans would win the gold today for their legislative backflips,” said Rep. Markey. “Democrats oppose terminating the loan guarantee program, and despite Republican rhetoric, we've known all along that they've opposed terminating it in order to protect the $32.5 billion for nuclear and fossil loan guarantees. We've called the Republican's bluff today, and they are now on the record in their opposition to ending the loan guarantee program despite their statements to the contrary.”
Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman stated, “the Republicans have spent the last year and a half making wild accusations. Their investigation of the loan guarantee program turned up no wrongdoing, but that didn’t stop their rhetoric from getting more and more extreme. Today’s vote reveals the truth. The Republican rhetoric does not match reality. Most members of Congress simply do not want to terminate the loan guarantee program.”
“This program is an engine for job creation. It has resulted in private investors coming off the sidelines to invest tens of billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs,” said Rep. Waxman.
The DOE loan guarantee program has already had major successes in supporting new, innovative technologies. The projects financed by this program are expected to support nearly 60,000 jobs and save nearly 300 million gallons of gasoline per year. The program is funding one of the world’s largest wind farms, the world’s largest concentrated solar generation project, the world’s largest solar power plant, and the nation’s first two all-electric vehicle manufacturing facilities.
The roll call vote for the Markey amendment is available online here.