Chu Unveils DOE Changes, Timeline for Stimulus Energy Spending

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chu-lblSecretary Steven Chu has made hasty work of shaking up the Department of Energy. Today the agency announced a series of reforms designed to expedite the dispersal of loans and loan guarantees — changes that the DOE says will position it to start offering loan guarantees from a much-delayed loan guarantee program by late April or early May. The agency also said in today’s release that new loan guarantees will be offered under the stimulus legislation by early summer, and at least 70 percent of its share of the stimulus will be dispersed by the end of 2010.

This means new allotments for the smart grid, advanced batteries, alternative-fuel vehicles and the array of clean energy initiatives supported by the stimulus will likely avoid languishing in the kind of multiyear application and evaluation process used for the $25 billion low-interest loan program for fuel-efficient vehicles and the Loan Guarantee Program for clean energy technologies. Planned reforms include:

  • Rolling appraisals of applications – instead of delaying the consideration of an application until a far off deadline, the Department will review them when they are submitted so that decisions can be made more quickly.
  • Streamlining and simplifying loan application forms and other paperwork.
  • Accelerated loan underwriting by using outside partners.
  • In cases where up-front fees may deter companies from applying, the Department will offer applicants the opportunity to pay the fees as part of the loan at closing.
  • Further reduction of up-front costs by restructuring credit subsidies so they are paid over the life of the loan.
  • Additional staff and resources to process applications.
  • Working with the industry to attract good projects into the loan guarantee program and helping them navigate the process.
  • A web site that will provide increased transparency in both process and results, as well as information to help applicants through the process.

Earlier this month, DOE Loan Guarantee Program Director David Frantz revealed at a Senate hearing that even the most progressed applications under the older program (created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005) would take a few months to process — as opposed to the four weeks that Secretary Chu had mentioned as a goal earlier this month. Today’s announcement confirms Frantz’s timeline.

It also sheds light on Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s recent statement about that company’s loan guarantee application. “Regarding funding,” he wrote in an email to customers last Wednesday, “I am excited to report that the Department of Energy informed Tesla last week that they expect to disburse funds from our $350M Model S loan application within four to five months.” The company later clarified that its application had not been approved, but in fact remained in the financial and technical merit stage of evaluation. If all goes according to Chu’s plan at the DOE, approved projects in Tesla’s cohort could have guarantees disbursed in the 4-5 month time frame that Musk described.

The green light on a loan guarantee, however, does not mean money in the bank. As the DOE explains, “These offers may still require recipients to secure their own share of the financing –- similar to earnest money in a home mortgage – or meet other conditions prior to closing.”

Photo credit Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Porter Smith

The hired lobby flacks for GM, Ford & Chrysler were ordered to DC to wave money at some senators in order to get $25B of tax payer $$ because Detroit was going broke. The Senators said,” we can’t get you any more taxpayer money because the public thinks you are lying” “Tell them we need the money to build electric cars- and then we can BS them into coughing it up” said the lobbyists. “Great idea” said the Senators as they took their 10%. But Senator Bingaman caught them and said: “I’m just gonna stick two little clauses in this give-away bill called Section 136. One: you can’t get the money if you are going bankrupt and, two, all American car companies should have access to it”

In 2008 only five car companies had applied before the deadline.
The Bad Guys:
Lachland Seward
Steven Chu
Nancy Pelosi
Matt Rogers and his partner Steve and most of Tesla’s friends at McKinsey Consulting from Silicon Valley (Who used Tax payer jets to fly back and forth to Silicon Valley to go bike riding)

The few applicants that did get money spent tens of millions of dollars on bribes and lobby “incentives” equal in ratio to the money they got.

Google Tesla’s Siry on “DOE stifles innovation” to read what one of the highest level staff at one of the car companies said.

The GAO, a federal crime busting agency, just released public reports saying that the DOE Loan programs were corrupt. All of the people under Seward were “connected” or “made men” in the Detroit cadre. Seward change the section 136 first-come-first serve rule (Which appears to be illegal) in order to provide advantages to Detroit and cut out the smaller players.

Detroit has already wasted, or lost, more money than all of the other applicants requests put together. Seward set-up blockades for those who were not insiders and “freight-trained” his friendlies through the process.

Those who got the money failed on the same things that those who didn’t passed on. It was 100% crony, 100% favoritism and 100% corrupt.

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