At a House Natural Resources Committee hearing September 22, Lauren Azar, senior adviser to Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, contended that if Congress enacts the American Taxpayer and Western Area Power Administration Customer Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 2915), the WAPA would not be able to establish partnerships and provide project developers the help they need to obtain federal permits. She argued that loan authority in the amount of $3.25 billion granted by the stimulus bill to WAPA is critical for developing transmission lines.