Administration assures Pelosi on restoration of renewables aid

The Obama administration has “assured” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that $3.5 billion in renewable energy loan guarantees diverted for other policy priorities will be restored this year.

“The Speaker has been assured by the Obama administration that it will work to restore these funds so that loans planned for later this year can move forward,” according to a statement from Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

“Increased funding for renewable energy projects that create jobs here at home and reduce our dependence on dirty and foreign fuels have been a top economic, national security, and environmental priority of Speaker Pelosi.” 
The House Tuesday approved a Senate-passed $26.1 billion state education and Medicaid funding package that is partially paid for by slashing $1.5 billion in renewable energy loan guarantees approved in last year’s economic stimulus bill. President Obama signed it into law later that afternoon.

An additional $2 billion in renewable energy loan guarantees was taken out last August to help fund the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

A group of renewable energy trade associations representing wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower companies wrote Pelosi Friday saying the removal of the loan guarantees would “significantly undermine” the Energy Department renewable energy loan guarantee program.

The Solar Energy Industries Association made a direct plea Monday to Obama, saying it could help “send solar development into a tailspin that will be difficult to reverse.”