UPDATE: DOE Bodman: May Have Loans For Auto Cos By Year End
November 19, 2008: 11:39 AM EST
(Updates with Bodman comments)
By Ian Talley
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Auto companies have submitted to the Department of Energy five applications for $25 billion in loans to retool plants for fuel- efficient vehicles, and DOE could disburse funds by the end of the year, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday.
"We're in the process of evaluating them, and so depending on the quality of the applications ... it's possible we'll have money available by the end of the year," Bodman said on the sidelines of a conference here.
Bodman did not say what companies had submitted the loan applications.
Auto companies Ford Motor Co. (F), General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler LLC have come to Congress this week seeking additional government funding of $25 billion in loans to make sure they can remain financially solvent for the next six months.
Republicans are blocking moves by Democrats for the additional funding, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he's working on a compromise bill to use the current $25 billion in loans for the emergency funding.
Bodman said he hoped the Bush administration and Congress could change how the loans are disbursed and he was against more loans for the companies. The loans are allowed to be distributed only for retooling plants to create advanced cars and trucks with much better fuel economy.
"It is not a useful thing to have another $25 billion, (and) I would hope ... Congress will modify the rules under which we can operate," he said. "Nobody wants to see these companies go broke."
-By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9285; email@example.com
(Josh Mitchell in Washington contributed to this report)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company
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