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U.S. Revives Aid Program For Clean Energy

Publication Date: 
September 19, 2013
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Diane Cardwell

Professor Dan Reicher weighs in on the Obama administration’s decision to revive a controversial aid program for clean energy and why he believes this time around the program has a chance to get into some “new and exciting opportunities.”

The Obama administration has decided to revive a controversial loan guarantee program at the Energy Department, administration officials said on Thursday, even as the program remains under Congressional scrutiny after losing hundreds of millions in taxpayer money on investments in failed green energy start-ups like the solar module maker Solyndra.

This time, though, the program would devote as much as $8 billion to helping industries like coal and oil make cleaner energy. Although the program, which does not require Congressional approval, would support a wide range of technologies, it could help coal-fired power plants find a way to keep their emissions from escaping into the atmosphere, department officials said.

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With its focus on conventional sources of energy rather than renewables like solar and wind, the program has “a chance to take so much of the focus off Solyndra and get it onto some new and exciting opportunities,” said Dan W. Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University and an adviser to Mr. Moniz.