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WASHINGTON, DC - Today the U.S. Department of Energy issued an Interim Final Rule that implements the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program authorized by section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The FY09 Continuing Resolution provided DOE with funding to make up to $25 billion in direct loans to eligible applicants for the costs of reequipping, expanding, and establishing manufacturing facilities in the United States to produce advanced technology vehicles, and components for such vehicles. These vehicles must provide meaningful improvements in fuel economy performance.

In the FY09 Continuing Resolution, Congress required DOE to issue to issue interim final regulations for the section 136 program within 60 days - that is, by November 29. The Department has completed and issued those regulations in approximately half of that time.

"Issuance of this interim final rule opens the process for automakers and component manufacturers to immediately apply for government funding under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program," said Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman. "Since Congress provided funding for this loan program approximately 30 days ago, the Department has worked quickly and responsibly to draft this rule, set up a loan office, and establish a credit review board to review loan applications."

Congress has appropriated $7.5 billion to cover the subsidy costs of direct loans issued to automobile manufacturers and component suppliers under EISA section 136. The actual amount of loans that DOE will be able to issue with this funding, up to the statutory ceiling of $25 billion in loans, will depend on the particular circumstances of specific borrowers and proposed projects. Additionally, the Department must comply with statutory requirements including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in connection with the issuance of any loans to be made under the EISA section 136 program. The Department intends to act quickly to review and evaluate any applications it receives from eligible applicants under the section 136 program.

For more information visit DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program website.

Media contact(s):

Healy Baumgardner, (202) 586-4940