Chairman McClintock, Ranking Member Napolitano, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today in support of H.R. 2915, the American Taxpayer and Western Area Power Administration Customer Protection Act of 2011. I am William Yeatman, assistant director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. We are a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. CEI specializes in regulatory policy. We accept no government funding and rely entirely on individuals, corporations and charitable foundations for our financial support.
My testimony is organized in two sections. The first explains why I believe that the Western Area Power Administration Section 402 Transmission Infrastructure Program (“WAPA loan authority”) is too risky for American taxpayers, especially in light of our nation’s current deficit problems. In the second section, I explain the potential unintended consequences of policies like the WAPA loan authority that are meant to promote renewable energy.