Energy subsidy fits one firm, group says

A watchdog group says a provision in the Senate energy bill would benefit a company formed by former executives of Enron, the energy-trading company that went bankrupt after an accounting scandal.

Public Citizen said federal loan guarantees designed to spur research and development of technologies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases appear directed in part at Houston-based DKRW Energy.

The company is named after the four founding members, and ex-Enron executives, Jon C. Doyle, Robert C. Kelly, H. David Ramm and Thomas White, who also served as Army secretary in President Bush’s first term.

DKRW subsidiary Medicine Bow Fuel & Power plans to develop a $2.8 billion coal-gasification project in Medicine Bow, Wyo. The Senate language targets the loan guarantee at a facility that would use coal that is mined in the West and is located in a Western state at an altitude greater than 4,000 feet.

Congressional staffers have defended the incentive program — which include loans to other specific projects as well — as a bipartisan compromise to encourage wider use of technologies to cut carbon-dioxide emissions, which are widely seen as causing global warming.

Jim Snyder