Murkowski Introduces Bill to Help Develop Local Energy Infrastructure

Allows State Entities to Fully Participate in DOE Loan Guarantee Program

Prior to the Senate’s adjournment for the August state work period, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, introduced legislation to improve access to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Section 1703 loan guarantee program. Her new bill would allow certain state financing entities to be fully eligible for the program, providing a new pathway for states to secure financing for projects that will reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“Right now, the Department’s loan guarantee program is tailored more toward large projects, which inadvertently shuts out the projects needed in many smaller and rural communities,” Murkowski said. “My goal here is to level the playing field so that state entities can access the loan guarantee program, bundle a number of smaller projects together, and then make them a reality to reduce local costs and emissions.”

Murkowski included the text of this legislation in her broad, bipartisan energy bills in both the 114th and 115th Congresses. An example of an eligible state financing entity would be the Alaska Energy Authority, which serves as Alaska’s state energy office.

At a committee hearing held last week on the importance of energy innovation to the economy and international competitiveness, witnesses emphasized the continued challenge of funding new projects, particularly in rural areas. Murkowski’s new bill provides a low-risk pathway to help resolve this obstacle.

Click here for the bill text.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Related Issues: Energy