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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act of 1980 Statement on Signing S. 2492 Into Law.

August 04, 1980

I have signed into law S. 2492, the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act of 1980, sponsored by Senator Daniel Inouye. This bill establishes a licensing and permitting program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the ocean thermal energy conversion industry and authorizes use of the Maritime Administration's loan guarantee authority for the construction of ocean energy facilities, once this technology has been successfully demonstrated.

Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a new energy technology that, when developed, could contribute greatly to our goal of meeting 20 percent of U.S. energy needs from solar and renewable sources by the year 2000. Just 2 weeks ago, I signed into law the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Research, Development, and Demonstration Act. That law authorizes an ambitious program of research and development of OTEC technology. S. 2492 is another early step in the process of bringing OTEC technology into the mainstream of our energy marketplace.

OTEC technology is still in its infancy. Therefore, we must be careful to ensure that the loan guarantees for commercialization activities provided by S. 2492 are made only if they are necessary and appropriate, and only after this technology has been demonstrated. S. 2492 recognizes the need for such prudence by requiring that the authority for a loan guarantee be conditional on certification by the Secretary of Energy that the OTEC technology to be used in the facility in question has been successfully demonstrated on a scale sufficient to establish the likelihood of economic success. Furthermore, the guarantee authority provided by S. 2492 is discretionary. If events indicate that financial assistance is not needed, or that another form of Federal financial assistance is more appropriate than loan guarantees for commercializing OTEC technology, S. 2492 does not foreclose the proper course of action.

The Nation's energy security demands that we pursue renewable energy sources that are secure from foreign interdiction. S. 2492 provides a licensing program and a financing tool that may be of substantial assistance in applying OTEC technology after it has been demonstrated in the years ahead. It is with pleasure that I sign this bill into law.

Note: As enacted, S. 2492 is Public Law 96320, approved August 3.

Jimmy Carter, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act of 1980 Statement on Signing S. 2492 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/251522

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