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Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. KAPTUR. I rise today to offer an amendment that takes another step toward restoring energy independence for America and new jobs for Americans. My amendment shifts an additional $10 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy development from departmental administrative accounts. My goal is to better support a diversified energy portfolio and restore continental energy security.

American security and competitiveness hinge on affordable energy for our businesses and families, and our energy future depends on innovation. Fossil fuels continue to provide the bulk of our energy needs, and those accounts are left intact in this bill. But we all should know that a diversified energy portfolio protects America from the instability of a single source of energy dependence.

Our future security depends on diversified energy research and development that provides significant return on investment both financially and in technological advancement and the jobs that go with it. We must ensure that American innovators are on a level playing field with competitors across the globe, including China, and even Russia, and other nations looking for a competitive edge.

For years, the United States has been the global leader in these technologies, but we now are losing edge. Investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are absolutely essential in securing America's future.

Now, I understand the difficulty in drafting this bill, given the 302(b) allocation and the cuts for energy and water that the subcommittee endured. And I appreciate Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky's dedication to making difficult choices in a tight budget climate. Yet for fiscal 2013, critical energy research accounts have been drastically reduced to $1.38 billion that actually exacted a $428 million cut below fiscal year 2012.

Compared to last year, for example, solar energy was cut nearly in half--to $155 million--and wind energy, the fastest energy sector growing globally, was cut by one-quarter, to $70 million for R&D. Other programs like geothermal, water power, and building energy technologies received similar large cuts.

Last year, this body came together in a bipartisan fashion to support a modest increase in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; and faced with further cuts this year, I ask my colleagues to reaffirm that commitment to a diversified energy policy and lead our country, and indeed the world, toward a new energy age. In fact, this amendment increases funds for the renewable portion of our energy portfolio while maintaining the proposed increases for fossil fuel development. And from a budgetary and accounting standpoint, my amendment actually decreases outlays for fiscal year 2013.

Let me add, this $10 million transfer we are proposing represents less than Ð1/20th of the $230 million administrative budget of the Department of Energy. This is a prudent adjustment to our energy policy strategy. It is forward looking. It makes sense from a budgetary standpoint. It will spur new job creation. And I urge my colleagues' support.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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