U.S. To Establish Clean Energy Investment Agency

5/6/2009

Clean Tech Brief

U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation this week that would establish a new independent agency to oversee government investment in clean energy.

Introduced by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the bipartisan bill would establish a Clean Energy Deployment Administration within the Department of Energy (DoE).

The agency would provide credit in the form of loans and loan guarantees to support green technologies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help diversify the country’s energy supply. In particular, the agency will offer support to technologies deemed “too risky” by private companies. Initial funding for the agency would come from collected payments and fees.

“New clean energy technologies will be needed to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels and lower the amount of greenhouse gases that our nation emits every day,” said Bingaman.

“This legislation is a bipartisan effort to position the U.S. to lead the development and deployment of clean energy technologies by ensuring that commercial financing for these technologies is readily available for the future,” he said.

At the moment, the DoE is struggling with a backlog of applications for clean energy loan guarantees authorized in 2005. In addition to the billions of dollars made available in 2005, the department has also received $6 billion for clean energy and transmission loan guarantees in the stimulus package.

Murkowski said the bill was a way to address climate change “without imposing new mandates or regulatory burdens.”

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