Bill to revamp Energy Department loan program also would hold guilty officials liable.
A House Republican bill to tighten oversight of the Energy Department’s controversial loan guarantee program would impose “negligible” implementation costs of about $1 million over four years, the Congressional Budget Office has reported.
The No More Solyndras Act, (H.R. 6213), named for the solar panel manufacturing company that went bankrupt in August 2011 after eating up a $535 million loan under the guarantee program established at Energy in 2005, would reorganize the program to restrict eligibility for future guarantees to projects that submitted applications before Dec. 31, 2011.
The legislation would require the Treasury secretary to review those guarantees and oblige Energy to consult with the Treasury Department on any changes in the terms and conditions of a loan guarantee. The bill also would impose administrative sanctions and civil penalties of $10,000 to $50,000 on federal officials who violate the requirements of the program. It would direct the Government Accountability Office to prepare a comprehensive report on federal energy subsidies.
The bill was introduced July 26 by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and cleared his committee Aug. 1.
CBO on Tuesday estimated that implementing the bill would cost about $1 million from 2013-2017, an amount it said would have “no significant impact on spending subject to appropriation.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story significantly overstated the amount of money Solyndra received from the loan program. It was about $535 million.