This week, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter sent Congressional Appropriators letters urging them to maintain budgets for programs supporting our national security, economic stability and energy independence. The programs are being developed by key Colorado private and public sector businesses employing thousands of workers in the metro area and throughout the state.
Following are the programs Perlmutter is urging support for.
"Investing in the innovation and development of these programs is critical to our national and economic security," said Perlmutter. "The Aerospace and clean energy sectors are key to building our economy and the jobs of the future in Colorado. Maintaining these programs means thousands of Coloradans have good jobs here in our state and are building things to change the way we power our country and ensure we have an economy built to last now and into the future."
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE): Seeks to maintain investments in EERE's applied energy programs to address our nation's energy challenges to ensure our energy independence and national security. Investing in these programs will bridge the gap between increased fossil fuel extraction and development and bringing alternative and renewable energy sources to market at affordable prices. The President requests $270 million for biomass programs; $310 million in solar programs; and $95 million in wind energy programs. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO is a national and world leader in developing these products and working with local private businesses to bring them to market. This work supports thousands of good-paying, stable jobs in Colorado and contributes more than $800 million to Colorado's economy.
Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle: Seeks to maintain current Congressionally-agreed upon funding level of $1.2 billion. The President seeks to decrease funding by $172 million, however, Perlmutter believes a setback in funding would jeopardize timely completion of the capsule and deviates from the commitment Congress and the Administration made in 2012. Approximately 1,000 private sector workers in Colorado are designing and building this capsule which will allow Americans to safely explore space farther than ever before and reduce our reliance on Russian spacecraft. Lockheed Martin along with 23 other Colorado small businesses are working on this project.
GPS III: Seeks to maintain President's requested amounts to fund the development and distribution of the next generation of global positioning satellites. This new generation of satellites will provide a stronger and more accurate signal to meet our military requirements, enhance our national security. Furthermore, it will aid our commercial efforts by provide more efficient, cost-effective data in the transportation, finance, energy, agriculture, and disaster relief sectors among others. Hundreds of employees in Colorado at Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace are working to maintain the schedule and deliver the satellite blocks on time. The President seeks funding of $319 million; $492 million and $371 million to fund the different components of this program.
Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS): Maintain President's requested funding of the next generation weather satellite system which will provide Americans with more accurate, sophisticated weather prediction capabilities. This will help ensure the safety of our communities from natural disasters in a cost-effective way because its advanced collection and data analysis will help predict weather patterns earlier with more accuracy ensuring better, faster preparation, response and recovery. It will also provide cost-savings to transportation sectors so shipping can be rerouted to avoid adverse weather; help farmers adjust their schedules; and help our military plan for and execute their operations safely in the most optimal weather conditions. The JPSS program in Colorado employees approximately 650 people at private businesses including Raytheon and Ball Aerospace.