Clean Economy Policy Update

The 112th Congress had gotten off to a tumultuous start. Last Thursday, the Senate approved the sixth Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2011 that would fund the federal government for another three weeks in order to avoid a shut-down. Republicans, who are pushing adamantly to cut spending, have successfully cut billions of dollars from the CR. These cuts influence key clean economy programs, and it is possible that more are to come.

In particular, Advanced Research Project Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) and DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program are under threat. Additionally, if they are not funded this year, it is highly unlikely that they will be included in the fiscal year 2012 budget. ARPA-E funded 37 high-risk, high-reward clean technology projects in 2009 and 2010 with $400 million, and the Loan Guarantee Program committed $26 billion in loan guarantees to 23 clean energy projects. These programs have attracted billions of dollars in investment and created or saved tens of thousands of jobs.  [MORE]