|Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program|
In 2005, Congress enacted energy legislation that established a loan guarantee program within the U.S. Department of Energy designed to spur private sector financing of “innovative energy projects.” In 2009, as part of the Administration’s “stimulus bill” (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), Congress broadened that program with $6 billion to be used as capital to build conventional renewable energy generation and transmission projects, as well as the facilities that would manufacture the hardware necessary for these projects. It is estimated that $1 million invested in this way would result in two to three times as many jobs as comparable fossil fuel fired generation. There also would be a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, as well.
The Institute identified this program as having major potential for providing the older industrial cities of the northeast and the midwest with job-creating revenue to move into the new, green economy. We held several webinars to explain the program to community leaders from our region and, in addition, studied the structure of the legislation and determined that a few rather minor modifications to it would greatly enhance its stimulative benefits.
The result of that analysis was a comprehensive white paper that the Institute provided to the Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions. A copy of that white paper can be found here.
On July 1, 2010, the House of Representatives included in its version of the 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill most of the changes recommended by the white paper. The text of that legislation can be found here.