There are a number of concerns with the energy bill passed yesterday. The 15% Renewable Portfolio Standard was a nice to have, but the extension of various renewable energy tax credits and incentives is vital. I've written about this before, while others have covered the same topic as well.
However, I do want to point out this bit buried in the NYT coverage:
Separately, Congress reached a tentative agreement on a major energy package that it plans to enact outside the energy bill, according to a Senate Democratic staff member. The agreement, to be included in a broad government spending bill, would authorize the Energy Department to guarantee loans for various energy projects, making financing far easier.[stepping on to my soap box] One hopes that Congressional Democrats, having achieved some success in pushing their clean energy agenda forward, and having gained positive press for the first time in months, don't fall back on this victory. The PTCs, loan guarantees and other credits and incentives are imperative if the U.S. renewable energy industry is to maintain its momentum. Already several years behind their European competitors, US companies need Congress to continue pushing this legislation forward until some kind of compromise can be reached and new legislation is passed.
The agreement would guarantee loans of up to $25 billion for new nuclear plants and $2 billion for a uranium enrichment plant, something those industries had been avidly seeking. It would also provide guarantees of up to $10 billion for renewable energy projects, $10 billion for plants to turn coal into liquid vehicle fuel and $2 billion to turn coal into natural gas.