Bingaman to review energy bills for Reid’s jobs agenda

“Most of those are clean-energy-type legislation which will create jobs. I haven’t sat down with [Reid] and sorted through which of them would have the greatest impact on job creation and which ones I would recommend he try to move ahead with,” Bingaman told reporters.

The panel, with support on both sides of the aisle, has cleared bills aimed at boosting research, development and deployment of marine renewable energy, small nuclear reactors, advanced vehicles, building and industrial efficiency technologies, carbon capture technologies and other issues.

Perhaps the biggest energy measure approved has been legislation that would create a federal “clean energy deployment administration” (CEDA) that would expand financing for a range of low-emissions projects.

CEDA is designed to provide an array of financing tools — including loans, loan guarantees and other kinds of support — to promising technologies that are facing the “valley of death” between technology invention and commercial deployment.

“I hope that we can successfully focus the attention of the Congress and the efforts here in Congress back on job creation, and that would be a strong factor in supporting something like CEDA,” Bingaman said.

But while the idea is that such a “green bank” would eventually become self-sustaining, the $10 billion in initial capitalization needed could create political hurdles. Bingaman said Wednesday that he has not yet settled on an offset for the initial cash infusion.

House Democrats are also planning to include clean-energy measures as they pivot from the debt battle. They are pushing their “Make it in America” initiative that includes several energy bills, including new funds for the federal program that provides tax incentives for manufacturing “clean energy” equipment and components.

More on that here.