A U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee has reinserted authorization for billions of dollars in loan guarantees for nuclear power projects in a draft fiscal 2011 funding bill for the Department of Energy.

U.S._House_SealWASHINGTON, D.C. – A U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee has reinserted authorization for billions of dollars in loan guarantees for nuclear power projects in a draft fiscal 2011 funding bill for the Department of Energy after some members complained and delayed a markup of the bill last month when that authorization was removed, Platts has learned.

President Barack Obama asked for an additional $36 billion in loan guarantee authority for 2011, but the House Appropriations’ Energy and Water Development subcommittee June 24 postponed a markup of the bill when some subcommittee members learned that authorization was not in the draft bill.

The subcommittee has rescheduled the markup for Thursday and, according to a congressional aide familiar with the process, the draft bill now will contain authorization for $25 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power projects. Appropriations rules require that Congress appropriate 1% of loan-guarantee authority that DOE sought–$250 million in this case.

While $25 billion is not the total the Obama administration requested for FY 2011, the House passed another $9 billion in nuclear loan guarantee authority in a supplemental 2010 appropriations bill June 1. The Senate must still act on it.

DOE currently has $18.5 billion in loan-guarantee authority for nuclear power projects, $8.3 billion of which has been conditionally awarded to Southern Company and several partners for the Vogtle plant in Georgia.

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Source: Platts
Photo: U.S. House of Representatives