I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Bingaman named in leaked Obama memo
Sen. Jeff Bingaman was cited as a reason against pulling funding for a federal-loan guarantee program according to a leaked memo from the Barack Obama administration. The Wall Street Journal reported that the memo warned against pulling the funding because it would upset Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The memo cited a $1.3 billion loan for a wind farm project in Oregon that the federal government would provide a partial guarantee for.
The memo was wary of angering either Bingaman or Pelosi:
But the memo warns that “failing to make progress on renewables [sic] loan guarantees could upset the Hill (Sen. Bingaman, Speaker Pelosi)”—a reference to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.) and the outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). Both have strongly championed the use of federal loan guarantees to boost alternative energy projects.
Mr. Bingaman “views [the program] as ‘his program,’ [and] would strongly oppose” taking money away from it, the memo says.
A spokesman for Mr. Bingaman said the senator would “not be happy” if the administration tried to take money out of the loan guarantee program, but added that Mr. Bingaman isn’t the only lawmaker who strongly supports the program.
“We’ve been frustrated and a little disappointed that the administration has used this program as an ATM machine,” the spokesman added.
The program has already had money taken away for other administration priorities like the $2 billion given to the “Cash for Clunkers” program that helped increase the sales of new automobiles.
Bingaman did not agree with diverting the money from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program to the Cash for Clunkers program.
“If Congress decides to extend this initiative, I believe we must not rob from the loan guarantees we provided through the recovery package that, in the long-term, will shift our country to home-grown, renewable energy while creating good ‘green collar’ jobs,” Bingaman told Reuters in July of last year when asked about it.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the clean energy loan guarantee program already has a budget less than half of what it was supposed to