Government May Delay $25 Billion For Automakers Until Mid-2010Apparently the Department of Energy is really slow when it comes to writing checks, as the Detroit News now reports that Detroit automakers may not get their recently approved loan packages until mid-way through 2010. DOE spokesperson Healy Baumgardner said "there are a number of legal and administrative requirements with which the Department must comply, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, we anticipate it could take at least 6 to 18 months or more, after necessary funds are appropriated." Which, of course, is a bureaucratic way of saying "red tape." Not surprisingly, the news didn't sit well with Michigan lawmakers and representatives from the Detroit Three, who had been laboring under the impression that checks would be cut as early as January 2009. US Representative John Dingell of Dearborn, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, "It appears that DOE is making excuses for its own anticipated failures. If DOE is asking for vigorous oversight to ensure it performs its duties, we will be happy to oblige." Snap! As it turns out, though, Dingell has a basis for frustration. The Detroit News also reports that the loan program was authorized in the Energy Act passed in December 2007, but the Energy Department didn't begin writing the regulations until late August. Additionally, DOE has yet to provide any funds for a $2 billion advanced energy program approved in 2005, despite picking 26 finalists almost a year ago. Your government at work, folks: Filling out forms in triplicate while automakers wait for funding that's already been approved. [Detroit News; Photo Credit: AP]