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.
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.
Via The NRDC