The U.S. Senate's Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, has introduced a continuing resolution (CR) covering funding for the remainder of fiscal-year 2011. Although the CR is not expected to obtain enough votes to pass the Senate, it received praise from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for sparing the Department of Energy's (DOE) loan-guarantee program.
The CR would preserve the $2.5 billion appropriated to the DOE for loan guarantees under Section 1705, according to an e-mail to members of SEIA. It would also preserve the DOE's existing $18.5 billion in loan-guarantee authority under Section 1703 and provide an additional $100 million in funding for loan guarantees for renewable energy under Section 1703, among other provisions.
In addition, the Senate's CR also provides funding for ARPA-E – an energy research program – at $200 million.
In contrast to the Senate's legislation, the House of Representatives' approved CR – H.R.1 – would cut funding to the program, among other cuts for renewable energy-related offices and programs.
‘The Senate has put forward a reasonable, fiscally responsible bill that will reduce funding at a rate that is $51 billion below the president's budget request,’ stated Inouye.Â ‘This bill is a good-faith effort to meet in the middle.’