Ethanol and other renewable energy industry groups are urging the Secretary of Energy to fix the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) and keep Congress from raiding it for other projects.
Growth Energy, along with the Renewable Fuels Association and six other organizations, sent a letter to DOE Secretary Steven Chu urging him to restore billions in funding to the program and address the problems that have prevented the program from providing loans for renewable energy projects.
To date, Congress has “borrowed” $3.5 billion from the Loan Guarantee Program to pay for emergency shortfalls in state revenues and the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program. The removal of these funds has left the LGP at 60 percent below the level that Congress originally appropriated.
Congress was able to take the funding from the LGP because the DOE has been slow in dispersing its resources. According to a July 12, 2010 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, since the LGP was established in 2005, it has issued only one loan guarantee as of April, 2010.
In addition to the ethanol groups, the letter was signed by Clean Fuels Development Coalition, Solar Energy Industries Association, American Council on Renewable Energy, Biomass Coordinating Council, Biotechnology Industry Organization, and American Wind Energy Association.