The first category of energy impacts concerns companies or individuals who are awaiting a check or wire transfer from the government, for which funds might not be available in the absence of a prompt deal to extend the debt ceiling. These include:
- Projects that have qualified for Treasury renewable energy cash grants, but have not yet received the funds, or that hope to qualify shortly. Since this program started in 2009, the Treasury has disbursed $7.8 billion to project owners and developers.
- Companies that sell energy to the federal government and its various branches. This includes start-ups selling renewable aviation and diesel fuels to the Department of Defense, as well as firms selling the government the large quantities of electricity and conventional fuels it uses. (I will be attending a joint Army/Air Force energy forum tomorrow.
- Companies with contracts related to various energy efficiency programs initiated under the stimulus or previous legislation, including weatherization.
- Individuals who receive federal energy assistance.
- Beneficiaries of the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program that have not yet secured loans are a good example of this category. Note than many of the projects listed on the Loan Program Office's site have only obtained conditional approvals, indicating that their financing has not yet closed. They would be vulnerable either to a protracted default or one that undermined confidence in the government's "full faith and credit" to such an extent that a federal loan guarantee wouldn't aid in lining up lenders.
- Refiners and others blending ethanol into gasoline and collecting the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.
- Producers of biodiesel and cellulosic biofuels and small ethanol producers, all of which receive tax credits for producing renewable fuels.
- Oil and gas companies benefiting from the various tax credits and deductions that have been in the administration's cross-hairs since it took office.
- US manufacturers, including oil and gas companies, power generators, ethanol producers, and a wide array of non-energy recipients of the Sec. 199 deduction for manufacturing their products in the US.
- Purchasers of electric vehicles eligible for the tax credit of up to $7,500 per car for EVs and qualifying plug-in hybrids, or up to $4,000 for natural gas vehicles and other alternative fuels.
- Car manufacturers and dealers depending on these tax credits to help sell their vehicles.
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