WV Sens. Capito & Manchin Introduce 2 More Ethane Storage Hub Bills

Senator Shelly Moore Capito

In May, both West Virginia U.S. Senators, Shelley Moore Capito (Republican) and Joe Manchin (Democrat), along with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, introduced and co-sponsored a bill to study if and how an ethane storage hub can be constructed in the Marcellus/Utica region (see WV/OH Senators Intro Bill to Study Appalachian Ethane Storage Hub). Apparently the issue is more important that just a single bill. Yesterday Sens. Capito and Manchin introduced/sponsored another new bill. Called the “Capitalizing American Storage Potential (CASP) Act,” this new bill would make a regional ethane storage hub (the one envisioned for West Virginia) eligible for the Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantee program. According to the Dept. of Energy website, Title XVII “provides broad authority for the Department to guarantee loans that support early commercial use of advanced technologies, if there is reasonable prospect of repayment by the borrower.” In other words, if the federal government guarantees a loan, lenders are more likely to make said loans at more favorable interest rates. Such a loan is “another tool that the Department will use to promote commercial use of innovative technologies” and is targeted for commercial operations only–not for use in energy research. If the bill passes, it will make building the ethane storage hub that much more attractive. In addition to the Title XVII bill, Sen. Capito also introduced a bill to hack through the red tape and streamline an approval process for the storage hub…

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