September 1, 2009

Dear Friends,

The Department of Energy has published for public comment a proposed rule on its loan guarantee program.

Their proposal is intended to overcome hurdles DOE has encountered in trying to give taxpayer loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors. In doing so, it would add to the already considerable risk to taxpayers of such guarantees.

The proposal is quite technical and complicated, written in language only an investment banker could love. You can read it here:

Despite its complexity, DOE set only a 30-day comment period, which ends September 8. Seven DC organizations (NIRS, FoE, Greenpeace, NRDC, UCS, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Public Citizen) already have requested a comment extension of 60 days.

Please contact DOE today by e-mailing and ask for a 60-day comment extension. A sample letter is below.

In the meantime, we are attempting to develop some basic comments on the proposal that can provide a template for your comments. We will get those to you sometime next week if an extension is not granted. However, an extension will be necessary for us to be able to consult experts in finance and economics in order to provide the fullest and most meaningful comments possible.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Sample letter (feel free to use your own words)

We are writing to support the August 20 request from seven national organizations for an extension of the comment period for DOE Docket ID: [DOE-2007-0002-0052] "Loan Guarantees for Projects That Employ Innovative Technologies," published in the Federal Register on August 7, 2009.

As their letter stated, this proposed rule is complex, highly technical, and offers far-reaching implications. In order to provide the fullest, most meaningful comments possible, we request a 60-day extension of the comment period. This would provide a total 90-day comment period, allowing adequate time for we and all affected parties to thoroughly review and comment on the proposal. We believe it is important that all stakeholders be provided adequate time to provide our views.

Thank you,