Rep. Russell Tries Again to Kill Unused $25 billion Energy Incentive Program

A year later and Oklahoma Congressman Steve Russell is trying again to get Congress to stop the government from awarding or making loans under what he considers another unnecessary program.

On Friday, he filed H.R. 1623, to repeal the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program run by the Department of Energy. The bill was immediately assigned to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee where Rep. Markwayne Mullin is a member.

In March of 2016 in the 114th Congress, Rep. Russell made a similar attempt to prohibit the Energy Department from making any more loans or awards under the program established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The ATVM was, in 2016, a $25 billion loan program to help car manufacturers in making more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles.

“I find it amazing how much money is wasted on unnecessary programs within the federal government,” said Rep. Russell at the time. “Here we have a fund that has gone completely unused for 5 years, yet $16.6 billion remains tied up for a program that the Government Accountability Office reports the cost outweighs the benefit.”

He called for an end to the program and return the money to the Treasury. The last completed loan under the program was issued in March of 2011, according to  the GAO.