Home > blog > Page
Politico Pro: Hastings, McClintock: Stop WAPA loans
Posted by Committee Staff on November 10, 2011


Hastings, McClintock: Stop WAPA loans

By Alex Guillen
Politico Pro
11/9/11 4:05 PM EST

House Republicans are worried about yet another Energy Department loan program.

Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) want the DOE to stop giving out loans through the Western Area Power Administration, one of the department’s four marketing administrations.

In a letter Wednesday to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Hastings and McClintock cite a DOE inspector general report, released Monday, that described mismanagement on a $161 million transmission loan to Montana Alberta Tie Ltd.

The lawmakers pointed to a passage in the report in which the IG’s office wrote that “although we did not confirm their assertions, certain Western officials indicated that they encountered pressure from the department to spend Recovery Act funds expeditiously.”

The IG report also noted that WAPA’s program funding will run out in the coming year, and that there may be no revenue from projects like the behind-schedule transmission line to keep it going.

“We firmly believe that any additional funding allocations made from this program puts American taxpayers and existing WAPA ratepayers at unacceptable financial risk,” Hastings and McClintock wrote. DOE “should cease and desist with any and all WAPA borrowing authority expenditures and activities.”

To make up for the coming gap, the IG report says, WAPA is “considering various options including a supplemental appropriation request or additional borrowing.”

Hastings and McClintock wrote, “We are very concerned that the agency could be contemplating additional taxpayer funding or tapping existing ratepayer revenues to overcome this funding shortfall.”

The department can expect specific requests for information soon, they added.

In October, the Natural Resources Committee sent to the floor a measure from McClintock, the chairman of the water and power subcommittee, aiming to repeal WAPA’s loan authority.

That authority and the funding initially backing it were enacted as part of the 2009 stimulus.

DOE opposes stripping WAPA’s loan authority, spokesman Damien LaVera told POLITICO by email.

“While the department has identified ways to improve the program, we are adamantly opposed to efforts in Congress to repeal this important financing mechanism which can improve electricity delivery and create jobs,” LaVera wrote. The department is implementing the inspector general’s recommendations, he added.

    Post a Comment
    Fill out the fields below to submit a comment

    Latest News

    ESA Consultation Delays Block Critical Infrastructure Projects, Imperil Species Recovery Efforts

    Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held an oversight hearing on delays and uncertainty related to Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations. Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (...... Read more

    Bishop Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence

    House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s most recent executive order related to domestic energy production: “This...... Read more

    Statement on President Trump Signing Repeal of BLM Planning 2.0 Rule

    Today, President Trump signed H.J. Res 44 (Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY), a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Planning 2.0 Rul...... Read more

    View All News

    Calendar

    Legislative Hearing on H.R. 220, H.R. 1411 and Discussion Draft of the "Bureau of Reclamation Pumped Storage Hydropower Development Act"
    Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
    Legislative Hearing on the RECLAIM Act
    Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
    Legislative Hearing on Four Bills
    Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
    View All Events