Orrin Hatch has been a huge supporter of Utah based company Raser Technologies for years. These were his words at a press conference following the groundbreaking ceremony of Raser's geothermal plant in Beaver, Utah:
Solving [the energy] problem was my motivation in introducing legislation in 2005 that would make the renewable tax incentives last longer, giving geothermal a chance to play in the game. My provision became law as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. And just last week, I cosponsored a measure in the Senate with Senators John Ensign of Nevada and Maria Cantwell of Washington that further extends tax incentives for renewable energy production.
When I first introduced my geothermal incentives bill, I didn’t realize that a Utah company would be first out of the gate with the latest technology, but I’m proud that one of our own is leading the charge.
Raser Technologies not only benefited from Senator Hatch's geothermal tax incentives, but they also received a $33 million treasury grant in 2009. Apparently the government help wasn't enough because earlier this year Raser filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Raser is just one of several geothermal companies whose technologies haven't panned out.
And just for fun, here is the Washington Post's report of Senator Hatch's terrifying test-drive of Raser Technologies' hybrid Hummer:
"How do you start this baby?" Hatch asked of the executives who built the 100-mile-per-gallon SUV.
"It's started," an official told Hatch.
"It's already on?" Hatch asked, surprised. "Heh, heh."
"Put your foot on the brake, then put it in drive," the official said. Nothing happened. "Is your foot on the brake? You have to have your foot on the brake."
"I think I've got it on," the senator replied.
"Nope," the executive said, pointing out the brake pedal. "There we go."
"No wonder," Hatch said. "I had it on the gas."