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Nuclear Energy Institute
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Senate Panel Approves Increase in Loan Guarantee Authority in Fiscal 2011 Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Development Subcommittee today marked up a $35 billion spending bill for fiscal 2011. The approved measure includes additional loan guarantee volume for the Department of Energy’s clean-energy loan guarantee program that was established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It does not include the administration’s proposal to force the nuclear energy industry to pay a third time into the federal fund established to decommission DOE uranium enrichment facilities in three states. Following is a statement from the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president of governmental affairs, Alex Flint.

“The bipartisan support shown for nuclear energy as part of the subcommittee’s approval of next year’s appropriations package for the Department of Energy is a positive sign for America’s energy, economic and environmental well-being.

“Nuclear energy is a proven, reliable, carbon-free supplier of the electricity that drives our economy, cools our homes, powers our factories and offices, and advances our standard of living. Because nuclear energy is such a vital component of a diversified energy portfolio to secure a safer, happier and healthier future for our children and grandchildren, the nuclear energy industry greatly appreciates the leadership provided by subcommittee Chairman (Byron) Dorgan in advancing this legislation.

“NEI appreciates the bipartisan support for nuclear energy indicated by the inclusion of the $10 billion loan guarantee authority but is disappointed that the Committee did not provide the additional $26 billion in loan authority requested by the President. Ten billion in loan authority will enable more reactors to be built, which will allow the country to make steps toward producing even more carbon-free electricity, but it will not enable a broad rebirth of the industry that would foster a deep expansion of our domestic nuclear manufacturing base. NEI appreciates the comments made by Chairman Dorgan, ranking member Bennett and Senator Voinovich that they will continue to work on this issue.

“NEI also thanks subcommittee members for not including the administration’s request to reinstitute the tax on the industry for the decontamination and decommissioning of DOE’s uranium enrichment facilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, one of which still operates. The industry strongly supports the safety goal of this effort. However, industry already has fully met its obligations to this program, to the tune of more than $2 billion, even though the federal government has yet to meet its initial funding requirements. We thank the subcommittee, as a matter of fairness, for dropping this funding bid from the fiscal 2011 appropriations bill.”