Bailout Watch 73: Regulate This

bailout watch 73 regulate this

Since the $25b bailout is a done deal, it’s tempting to think of the “debate” as a fait accompli. Not so. The Department of Energy (DOE) still has to meet with lobbyists study the bill and write-up the regs. Although RF reckons the DOE won’t be rushed (that much), Motown’s white hot for the green, encouraging bailout backers to fire-off warning salvos even before the President’s signature clears the cash. As Green Car Congress reports, Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee chair Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is pre-threatening his pals at the DOE.

I have been told there may be some confusion about the terms of the loans as the provision creating the loan program references the “activities” that are the subject of a grant program also authorized in the same section of EISA. The grant program is limited to 30 percent of the costs of a facility. This is a fairly typical cost share for grant programs. Some have raised a question as to whether this 30 percent cap should also apply to the loan program. That is not the way I read the language of the law and was certainly not our intent in writing the provision.

Moreover, I would argue that it would dramatically limit the effectiveness of the program as it would require companies to go to tight credit markets for 70 percent of their financing, precisely the problem we were seeking to remedy with the creation of the loan program. While I don’t expect the Department of Energy to take this limited view of the program, I wanted to go on record here to help alleviate any confusion that may exist. I look forward to working with the Department to aid them in getting this program up and running.

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  • Mel23 Mel23 on Oct 01, 2008

    From Wednesday's WSJ: But an Energy Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that Congress failed to lift several restrictions on that process, making it more difficult to meet the (60 day) timeline. She earlier estimated that it could take between six and 18 months to complete. "Congress set a timed deadline of 60 days for the regulations to be issued -- not for the loans to be made," department spokeswoman Healy E. Baumgardner said in a statement Tuesday. "Specific statutory requirements outline administrative and legal procedures which will require a longer timeframe for full implementation of the program….Congress had the opportunity waive one or more of these requirements enabling for a faster process, but failed to do so."

  • Morea Morea on Oct 01, 2008

    Ahhh, bureaucracy at work. It's lovely in its own way, isn't it? [Thanks mel23 for the post.]

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.