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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 2, 2013 2:56 PM Flag

    Obama administration boosts oil industry with $8B in loan guarantees

    Obama administration boosts oil industry with $8B in loan guarantees

    Posted on July 2, 2013 at 1:03 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

    When President Barack Obama unveiled a broad plan for combating climate change last week, few observers would have predicted one of his administration’s first steps would be aimed at giving a boost to fossil fuels.

    But on Tuesday, the Obama administration launched a process to award $8 billion in loan guarantees for cleaning up the extraction and burning of coal, oil and natural gas. In issuing a draft solicitation for the fossil fuel loan guarantees, the Energy Department essentially revived a long-stalled program that hasn’t been tapped since it was first authorized eight years ago.

    Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz stressed that the plan this time is to broadly open the program up to a wide range of fossil fuels and technologies — with the goal of paring heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from the oil, gas and coal that power the U.S. today.

    Fossil fuels: The word you didn’t hear in Obama’s climate change speech

    “As we develop the transformational technologies of the very low-carbon future of tomorrow, we also have to innovate around today’s energy,” Moniz told reporters on a conference call outlining the plan. “We are trying to prepare the way for all these different technologies to be market competitors as we go to a low-carbon economy.”

    The Energy Department’s proposal would include not just downstream carbon capture initiatives that could separate carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, but also upstream projects for extracting natural gas and oil.

    For instance, the Energy Department is proposing to make loan guarantees available for projects involving “novel oil and gas drilling, stimulation and completion technologies…that avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants.” That could include so-called “dry fracking” technology which eliminates the use of liquids in well stimulation processes now being used to pull natu

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