Brit Liggett

New Congress Majority Plans $100 Billion in Budget Cuts, Slashes Clean Energy Innovation

by , 02/10/11
filed under: Policy, Renewable Energy

congress, energy incentives, energy rebates, renewable energy credits, renewable energy future, congress energy policy, senate energy policy, house energy policy, obama energy policy, house budget cuts, house appropriations committee, renewable energy, clean technology

The United States House Appropriations Committee — a committee that helps determine government spending — emerged from a closed door meeting yesterday with a proposed $100 billion in government spending cuts, much of which would slash spending in renewable energy technology at a time when the President believes it is the key to a prosperous future. The cuts focus a large amount of their ire on green energy, slashing 20% of the Department of Energy budget, 35% from the budget for Efficiency and renewable energy technology programs, one fifth of the budget for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability — which manages our grid systems — and 18% from the Office of Science, the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States.

congress, energy incentives, energy rebates, renewable energy credits, renewable energy future, congress energy policy, senate energy policy, house energy policy, obama energy policy, house budget cuts, house appropriations committee, renewable energy, clean technology

Though the cuts reach far and wide across the entire US government, renewable energy technology represented one of the biggest target areas — fossil fuels and nuclear fared better than the government’s renewable energy programs, losing less of their dough in the proposed budget. The cuts we listed in the first paragraph are just a small number of the total proposed slashes to green innovation. The rest of the list includes cuts in programs for next generation biofuels, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s recent SunShot program, offshore wind demonstration and innovation, ocean power research, efficient vehicle technology development and residential and commercial building efficiency technology programs — we could go on, but we’ll stop here to spare you the tears.

Though our nation’s fiscal situation is surely dire, it seems that the House Appropriations Committee is shortsighted in their plan to get our country back on its feet. The programs that the committee is proposing to slash are programs that will provide American jobs, strengthen our national industries, provide us a future free from foreign oil and help secure our country’s environmental health. The cuts to green innovation come while leaving intact a tax break for oil, gas and coal companies totalling $39 billion that was included in last year’s official budget.

The Republican plan will cost jobs, undercut American innovation and clean energy, jeopardize our safety by taking cops off the street, and threaten investments in rebuilding America — at a time when our economy can least afford it,” Representative Nancy Pelosi of California said in response to the announcement. In addition to budget cuts, the proposed plan includes elimination of 60 federal programs including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and AmeriCorps. We understand the need to slim down the budget in a time when our national debt has surpassed $14 trillion, but seriously endangering programs that will secure the future prosperity of our country seems like the worst way to decrease the deficit.

+ Read more about the cuts on The New York Times and The National Journal

+ Contact your local representative about these proposed cuts

Via The NRDC

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4 Comments

  1. caeman February 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

    WBrooke, the cuts are only considered “not shared” because of a bias in the reporting of the cuts. This web site is about green tech, renewables, etc. Any reporting here is going to have that slant. Thus why I stated that any area is going to feel that their cut is inappropriate, or unfair.

    You should read up on how international corporations work. Those are the richest companies you are thinking of, and they are taxed based on the Headquarters. Guess where they prefer to have their official headquarters? Countries with no corporate tax. That is the way international law works.

  2. chris f February 11, 2011 at 1:07 am

    of course subsidies for fossil fuels is ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as spending hundreds of billions of dollars and institute economy-crippling laws in order to theoretically reduce carbon from the atmosphere which will accomplish NOTHING. anybody with half a brain can see it’s a total scam, “bu bu but, it’s for the right reasons” bs, if they spent a tenth of that money preserving habitat it would be the best thing to happen to the environment since amino acids

  3. WBrooke February 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I don’t quite understand your arguement, caeman. The story indicates that funding cuts were not shared across the board. Renewable energy and “green” tech took the highest hit while fossil fuels continue to be subsidized.

    If you are arguing for a levelized playing field then wouldn’t eliminating tax breaks for the richest corporations on the planet (oil/gas/coal companies) do just that? And wouldn’t the tax revenue generated go further to paying off the debt than eliminating renewable energy projects?

    And if rich people start buying *American* electric cars then that is good for the economy, not bad.

    I think this policy locks America into old technology.

  4. caeman February 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    In every area where money gets cut, the same complaints will happen, “But my area is important!” The cuts need to be shared across the board for real cost reductions. When the economy has fully recovered and the debt under control, then we can increase funds for helping rich people buy electric cars.d

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