Oh, good: Energy Department ready to kick their green loan program back into high gear

posted at 6:41 pm on September 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The Department of Energy managed to round up a couple more multimillion dollar renewable energy loan-guarantee failures for their already impressive running list just this month, but let that not deter the Obama administration’s most august bureaucrats from reviving the program’s temporarily dormant outlay activities. As I mentioned earlier this summer upon the administration’s announcement of their draft loan guarantee solicitation, however, the administration is looking to re-package the program as a supposedly more fossil-fuel friendly approach and as a direct antidote to the war-on-coal narrative freshly instigated by the EPA’s regulatory de facto ban on new coal plants — never mind that a casual $8 billion dollars is one heck of an expensive PR effort.

So now comes the “full steam ahead!” via the NYT, emphases mine:

The Obama administration has decided to revive a controversial loan guarantee program at the Energy Department, administration officials said on Thursday…

This time, though, the program would devote as much as $8 billion to helping industries like coal and oil make cleaner energy. Although the program, which does not require Congressional approval, would support a wide range of technologies, it could help coal-fired power plants find a way to keep their emissions from escaping into the atmosphere, department officials said.

Officials say the federal subsidies are necessary to support the development of technologies that are too complex, unproven and expensive for investors and private companies to pursue on their own, assertions that have already stirred criticism from opponents who see the program as too risky and a misuse of taxpayer money. …

Analysts and climate experts also questioned whether the program, which was originally established in 2005 and whose new guidelines will be completed this fall, could make the technologies economically viable on a mass scale. There are currently no ventures in the United States that achieve this, despite years of government-sponsored research and development, according to the Congressional Research Service. An ambitious clean-coal demonstration project called FutureGen, proposed by President George W. Bush in 2003, has yet to advance beyond the early development stages.

So, about that “too complex, unproven and expensive for investors and private companies” bit? We certainly wouldn’t want these technologies to languish simply because of their unfortunate lack of practicality and price efficiency, now would we — so it’s a good thing the government has taxpayer dollars to burn as an endless resource pool for their ideologically-driven “investments.” What’s a little/a lot/any amount of risk when the faceless American everyman is not only the taxpayer absorbing the added costs of that risk, but the consumer paying the price of those artificial signals injected into the market as well — am I right?


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Why start a company that adds actual value to the economy when such a business would be real work to get off the ground and profitable? Instead, just create some dead end company that will create no value to the economy, but will suck up taxpayer money. These programs create very bad incentives.

besser tot als rot on September 23, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Obama really needs to take a hint from the Australians…..

redguy on September 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Why start a company that adds actual value to the economy when such a business would be real work to get off the ground and profitable? Instead, just create some dead end company that will create no value to the economy, but will suck up taxpayer money. These programs create very bad incentives.

besser tot als rot on September 23, 2013 at 6:44 PM

These programs are only designed to reward Obama cronies…..

redguy on September 23, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Heh… expanding the cash-kickback pipeline for 2014…

…and making more ‘friends of O’ a bit richer before the hammer falls.

CPT. Charles on September 23, 2013 at 6:46 PM

besser tot als rot on September 23, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Yep get rich quick and then company goes belly up.

It stinks being honest and having morals. I would jump on this in a heartbeat.

watertown on September 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

renewable energy loan-guarantee porgrams

I missed out the first time around.

This time I’m ready. :)

I’ll send you an e-mail from Costa Rica, let you know how it went.

MichaelGabriel on September 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

This is utterly insane, and right when we are talking about raising the debt limit! The more so-called green or renewable energy we have (solar / wind) the higher energy costs will be for consumers and business, which, across the board, will damage the economy and struggling families. Look in to what happened in Europe to see the magnitude of the possible damage that can be done. And the govt needs to stop spending money like it grows on trees. If anything makes you think that the debt limit shouldn’t be raised, this is it.

anotherJoe on September 23, 2013 at 7:07 PM

C’mon Congress! Let’s get that government funded! Raise the debt ceiling! We need more dead-end loans to dead-beat “alternative energy” scams, and a fully-funded EPA to shut out new coal plants!

de rigueur on September 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Interesting that the LA Times (online at least) has a story about the 15 year “pause” in global warming.

There’s no way the LA Times would let the people know about this temperature stall out unless they felt they had no choice. And they don’t have a choice because the word is going to get out no matter what because even the ipcc now just recently decided that they themselves can’t ignore the stoppage in gwarming.

But, of course, the LA Times totally spins it to favor their side. Though they say: “Since just before the start of the 21st century, the Earth’s average global surface temperature has failed to rise despite soaring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and years of dire warnings from environmental advocates,” they fail to acknowledge that one of the most reasonable explanations for the dearth of warming is that CO2 may have much less or near zero effect on temperature. CO2 has soared, temps have flatlined, what does it mean?

Instead, the LA Times repeats the idiocy that a probable reason is that the “deep ocean ate the missing heat,” despite there not being any evidence or measurements of ocean temperature to support that notion. There’s actually no evidence that CO2 affects temperatures, in fact the evidence is that temperature change affects CO2 levels (but not vice versa). See Al Gore’s and the ipcc’s deceptions on CO2 effectively shot down in this must see 3 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&CO2Lag

anotherJoe on September 23, 2013 at 7:27 PM

C’mon Congress! Let’s get that government funded! Raise the debt ceiling! We need more dead-end loans to dead-beat “alternative energy” scams, and a fully-funded EPA to shut out new coal plants!

de rigueur on September 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM

As Nancy Pelosi says, “there’s nothing left to cut.” Right.

anotherJoe on September 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM

This time, though, the program would devote as much as $8 billion to helping industries like coal and oil make cleaner energy. Although the program, which does not require Congressional approval,
===========================================================

No Congressional approval,…….really!!!

************* LibTards Spendus/DownUs ********************!!

canopfor on September 23, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Does anyone else think our current Secretary of Energy looks like a guy who heads a bureaucracy of this particular government?

BD57 on September 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Green is the color of scam.

SteveInRTP on September 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I was trying to think of something clever to say about him…

You proved that saying something succinct works best.

SteveInRTP on September 23, 2013 at 7:38 PM

UGH… I hate iPads sometimes…

Credit to:

BD57 on September 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM

SteveInRTP on September 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM

“Why start a company that adds actual value to the economy when such a business would be real work to get off the ground and profitable? Instead, just create some dead end company that will create no value to the economy, but will suck up taxpayer money. These programs create very bad incentives.

besser tot als rot on September 23, 2013 at 6:44 PM”

Because your name is Terry McAuliffe. ’cause at least he put $ in his own pocket…. JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

Byrd Machine on September 23, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Who is this freak, and why is he so profligate with the people’s money?

onlineanalyst on September 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Sure, that’s what we need: billions more tax dollars pissed away on phony green energy scams dreamed up by crooked Obama donors.

Why not just set the money on fire? It’s quicker, and it would save taxpayers the lawyer fees when these phony companies go bankrupt.

AZCoyote on September 23, 2013 at 8:01 PM

There are currently no ventures in the United States that achieve this, despite years of government-sponsored research and development,

Translation: None of Barry Obama’s campaign contributors have start up companies in these areas.

Yet.

GarandFan on September 23, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Who is this freak, and why is he so profligate with the people’s money?

onlineanalyst on September 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM

“I’m Tiny Tim, and I approve this message.”

CurtZHP on September 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM

it could help coal-fired power plants find a way to keep their emissions from escaping into the atmosphere, department officials said.

I propose a development program to do this by attaching big balloons over the smokestacks of coal-fired plants.

Where’s my billion dollars?

Socratease on September 23, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Officials say the federal subsidies are necessary to support the development of technologies that are too complex, unproven and expensive for investors and private companies to pursue on their own,

Murphy’s Law of Engineering;

Any system that is too complex to work, won’t work.

Generally, investors and private companies are better at picking winners and losers here, because it’s their own money that’s at risk, so they have skin in the game. Also, they are not generally driven by ideology, as opposed to utilitarianism.

Politicians, by comparison, are almost always driven by ideology, and tend to make decisions based on “Does it feel right?” Progressives are especially prone to this, coupling the above with “Will this change Society into what I demand that it become?

For this reason, politicians in general and progressives in particular have very poor track records when dealing with technology. They’re the sort who, having failed to screw in a light bulb successfully, launch an initiative to ban light bulbs, thereby avoiding the threat of being made to feel stupid the same way in the future.

Also consider how many progressives are only in favor of an “energy project” if it has no net gain; i.e., won’t show a profit or even generate usable energy. People who dream of destroying “Evil Capitalism” or “Turning out the lights on Civilization so that all are forced to live in harmony with Holy Mother Gaia under Our Benevolent Rule” are unlikely to make sensible decisions on anything, least of all energy projects.

Moral; Engineering is a province best left to engineers. And a law degree or one in “environmental philosophy” doesn’t cut it when an engineering decision needs to be made.

Corollary; Generally, the laws of physics notify you immediately when you get one wrong, and there’s no make-up test.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 23, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Moniz looks like he’s an extra from a low-budget version of 1776.

321mdl on September 23, 2013 at 10:09 PM

…pay-o-la!

KOOLAID2 on September 23, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Moniz looks like he’s an extra from a low-budget version of 1776.

321mdl on September 23, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Melvin Belli as Gorgan the Friendly Angel from the original Star Trek.

He was neither an angel or friendly.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 24, 2013 at 7:29 AM

The Department of Energy has not done their job for over thirty years and this years budget was $23.3 billion and the 16,000 employees have been drawing their paycheck the full time and we’re still on foreign oil. Some one needs to tell the DOE about the Dakota’s and the oil field there.

mixplix on September 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Officials say the federal subsidies are necessary to support the development of technologies that are too complex, unproven and expensive for investors and private companies to pursue on their own,

So if the thousands of scientists and engineers employed by private companies can’t figure out these complex technologies, then the wonderful wand-wavers working for the Gubmint are supposed to fix them by magic and money? All we need is Obama-ssiah to grant a waiver of the laws of physics and thermodynamics, and all is cool and hunky-dory in the Land of Oz in the Age of Aquarius. Let the sun shine in!

Out: If you build a better mousetrap, customers will beat a path to your door.

New Awesome Hotness: If you build a mousetrap that can’t catch mice, Obama will give you millions if you tithe to the Democrats.

Taxpayers might need to buy a cat.

Steve Z on September 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM