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‘It would just die on the vine’: Biden’s $200 billion energy loan juggernaut faces a Trump-sized threat

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on POLITICO or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office, a pivotal element of President Joe Biden's climate strategy, has Congress' approval to distribute over $200 billion for cutting-edge energy projects
• However, it's currently facing a future fraught with uncertainty, especially if former President Donald Trump is reelected

🔭 The context: Since Biden took office, the DOE has announced conditional and final loans and loan guarantees totaling approximately $25.8 billion, signaling a significant increase in activity for a program that saw minimal action during the Trump administration
• Despite this, the office still has a vast amount of funds to distribute, with $217.6 billion in loan authority remaining as of the end of March, highlighting the challenge of fulfilling Biden's climate ambitions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The loan program aims to support a variety of projects crucial for transitioning to cleaner energy sources, such as solar farms, hydrogen production, and lithium mining
• These projects are vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change
• However, the program's ability to continue supporting such initiatives may be compromised if there is a shift in administration.

⏭️ What's next: The DOE is racing against time to allocate these funds effectively while ensuring that the investments align with the goal of transforming the nation's energy section
• The outcome of the upcoming presidential election could significantly influence the program's future direction and capacity to support renewable energy and climate mitigation efforts

💬 One quote: "We don’t want to leave anything on the table. But I understand that you’ve got to do it right,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, emphasizing the balance between expedience and diligence in loan disbursements

📈 One stat: The DOE Loan Programs Office has received 203 active applications, seeking a total of $262.2 billion, which surpasses the office's current estimated loan authority of $217.6 billion.

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