The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change recently released a white paper recommending 20 steps the Department of Energy (DOE) should take in carrying out the President’s Climate Action Plan. The recommendations include strengthening specific energy efficiency standards, accelerating the development and deployment of low-carbon energy technologies, expanding the use of energy savings performance contracts to save energy at federal facilities, encouraging reforms in state building codes and utility rate structures, maximizing the contribution of power marketing administrations, and analyzing the climate change impacts of liquefied natural gas exports.
“This report provides a roadmap for the Department of Energy as it implements President Obama’s climate change plan,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “The steps we outline would accelerate the development of clean, renewable energy; improve energy efficiency; and reduce dangerous carbon pollution. I look forward to working with Secretary Moniz as DOE ramps up its work to address this serious threat.”
The report is based on feedback by more than 200 groups ranging from efficiency advocates to Fortune 500 companies to environmental organizations to electric utilities. In addition, DOE officials and academics also provided input.
Keeping in mind the “financial” crisis of the federal government, page 11 of the report notes that while Congress seems unlikely to act to support additional loan guarantees, DOE currently has $2.3 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy loan guarantees as well as $4 billion in loan guarantee authority that it can use for projects of any type.
“Congress should act to support additional loan guarantees, but there is little
prospect that Congress will do so in the near term . . . “We recommend that DOE support innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to the full extent of DOE’s remaining authority. Providing loan guarantees for worthy projects of these types would be a concrete step towards reaching the President’s goal of once again doubling renewable electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal resources by 2020.”