AFCC members are able to have a voice in and directly influence legislation affecting the alternative fuels & chemicals industries
Who We Are - What We Do -
How We Add Value to Existing Groups
AFCC is a brand new coalition, formed in January 2019, to fill two needs that became apparent during the 115th Congress:
The First Need
became clear when a program with $40 billion in low-cost, below-market-rate loan authority was almost eliminated because so few companies, lobbying groups, and individuals were advocating for the program.
Virtually no member of Congress mentioned the program as a priority in their fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations requests because virtually no one was visiting their offices asking them to make it a priority.
This was not an insignificant program.
Created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy's Title 17 loan guarantee and Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) direct loan program is specifically designed to provide construction financing for first time commercial projects using new or significantly improved technologies
These are the types of technologies which, because of their newness and unproven nature and, therefore, their high risk, are almost impossible to finance on a commercial scale through the private sector.
This gap, between the successful research and development, validation, and scale-up of promising new technologies and their commercial deployment, is known as the "valley of death," so-called because so many worthwhile ideas and concepts, which have had the potential to create jobs, boost local economies, and change the world, have died, to never be heard from again, because of their inability to convince lenders in the private sector to take the necessary financial risks inherent in building a first-time commercial project.
The Second Need
became clear when the members of a small ad-hoc loan guarantee coalition, that had been hastily formed by two law firms to advocate on behalf of restoring the Title 17's loan authority, began reaching out to other industry groups, lobbying groups, and companies that had the potential to be negatively impacted by the loss of the Title 17 program.
The ad hoc loan guarantee coalition found that almost every one of these companies and groups already were stretching their resources to the maximum to address other high priority issues. These companies and groups, while willing to do what they could, indicated that did not know enough about, have enough members or operations affected, or have the resources available to be able to provide any significant help.
The ad hoc loan guarantee coalition ultimately was successful in restoring 100 percent of the loan authority and annual appropriations that support the Title 17 loan guarantee program for both FY2018 and FY2019.
But the lessons were clear:
1. All companies and groups have finite resources, set priorities on how these resources are to be used, and often find it difficult to divert or add to these resources to fight another brush fire when they already are fighting fires on multiple fronts.
2. Only if a new fire is bigger and more important than the other fires that already are being fought does it make sense to take resources away from one priority and devote those resources to another issue.
3. An issue that might be important tomorrow but is not important today is going to sink to the bottom of the priority list.
4. Most industry associations, lobbying groups, and companies with an active presence on Capitol Hill focus their efforts first and foremost on policy issues, and much less on the appropriations that provide the funding for the federal agency programs that establish and carry out these policies.
5. There are some important gaps between what existing industry associations, lobbying groups, and companies with an active presence on Capitol Hill are able to pay attention to and do, how they decide to deploy their resources, and the mischief that can occur when an issue is advancing with little attention or notice, is overshadowed by other issues, or is inserted under cover of night as a bill is moving to the floor for a vote.
These are the reasons AFCC was formed.
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