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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment eliminates funding to the Department of Energy's Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

We should be developing the vast quantities of proven energy resources readily available in this country, but instead the government continues to subsidize green technologies that are not yet ready to be used wide scale. They are neither efficient nor affordable, and Federal agencies should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. If these technologies were viable, the Federal Government would not need to give them handouts and, instead, they would be able to succeed on their own.

Further, this legislation provides millions of dollars of foreign assistance to countries like China and India to implement renewable energy programs. At a time when our Nation is broke, and we are broke, why are we sending taxpayer money to our foreign competition?

I urge support of this amendment.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I appreciate the gentleman from Indiana's comments, and I submit that the best way to make sure that we have that national security that my colleague from Indiana was talking about is for us to open up all of our God-given resources of energy here in this country, and we are not doing that.

Mr. Chairman, we need to start doing everything we can to develop every energy source that we have, and I believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy.

The best way to determine what energy policy is going to be viable and is best for America is by letting the marketplace work. I believe in the brilliance of the marketplace. The marketplace, unencumbered by taxes and regulation as well as free from government meddling in the marketplace by picking winners or losers, is the best way to develop those drastically needed energy resources. And I believe in renewable energy. But is it viable economically? And is this country going to be viable economically if we continue spending like we have been spending?

And, in fact, many Members of Congress seem to have the idea that this country is going to totally dry up and blow away if the Federal Government doesn't supply everything to every entity's needs. I hear over and over again from colleagues that they want to continue this spending and that spending. In fact, in the committees--I serve on three committees--I hear my colleagues, particularly other side, talk about we have a tremendous debt that we need to deal with.

But it reminds me--as I hear them also talking about not cutting programs--it reminds me of an old saying back from our founding era when our Founding Fathers were talking about the discussion in taxes. Today's mantra is "don't cut me, don't cut thee, cut the fellow behind the tree.'' Well there's nobody behind the tree.

I believe we are in an economic emergency as a Nation, and Congress needs to face the fact. We're headed towards an economic collapse as a Nation. We've got to stop picking winners and losers and let the marketplace do that. Let people vote with their dollars instead of our funding this and not funding that, subsidizing this and not subsidizing that. The best way to do these things, the best way to figure out who should be the winner or loser is let the marketplace do what it does best and let people vote with their dollars. Let people invest in things that make sense and not invest in those things that don't make sense.

And we've got a lot of renewables such as this corn-based ethanol that doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense economically, and it doesn't make sense even from an energy perspective. In fact, I'm a good Southern boy. I love my grits and cornbread. It makes absolutely no sense for me to be burning up my grits and cornbread driving down the road putting it in the gas tank of my GMC Yukon.

So we need to let the marketplace do its thing. We need to reel in the spending that Republicans and Democrats alike over the last several decades have been using to grow the size and scope of government. So I encourage my colleagues on both sides to support this amendment. It makes sense economically.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I will try to be expeditious and comply with my friend from Washington's request to not delay this.

This amendment simply prohibits the Department of Energy from spending money to implement the Vehicle Technologies Deployment Subprogram within the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's "Clean Cities'' program.

Earlier, I offered an amendment to cut funding from this program and transfer it into the spending reduction account. As I mentioned before when I presented my previous amendment, it is not appropriate for the Federal Government to be spending dollars on programs that the private sector should be doing or that local and State government can do. This program, this Vehicle Technologies Deployment Subprogram, is corporate welfare. I remind my friends, this is corporate welfare. And, in fact, I have heard over and over from my friends on the Democrat side that we need to stop doing corporate welfare. And I hope that they will support this amendment because that's what this simply is.

I urge my colleagues to support my amendment.

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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the committee's cutting this program down to the $26 million. But, again, this is corporate welfare to Fortune 100 companies, many that get these funds. We do need to reduce this country's dependence upon foreign oil, but this is not the way to do it. The way to do it is to open up exploration of our own energy resources here in America.

This is a commonsense amendment to strike out about $26.5 million out of funding that we just simply don't have. It's money that we're borrowing from our foreign competitors as well as here in this country, and it's creating more and more debt. So I urge passage of my amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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