Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) today issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 5325, the fiscal year 2013 energy and water appropriations bill:
I want to commend the Appropriations Committee and Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Frelinghuysen for crafting a fiscally responsible spending bill that restores balance to and improves prioritization of the approximately $8 billion of Department of Energy (DOE) programs under the Science, Space, and Technology Committee's jurisdiction. In particular, the bill rejects the President's request for massive spending increases on wasteful and ineffective green energy programs, instead supporting a true "all of the above' energy policy to help expand domestic production, protecting basic research at the Office of Science, and restarting the nuclear waste management program at Yucca Mountain."
"I also want to congratulate Committee Members Harris, Brooks, Cravaack, Adams, and Broun for their successful amendments and contributions to the bill. Their work builds on extensive Committee oversight of DOE this Congress to minimize waste of taxpayer dollars and improve prioritization and management of important energy R&D activities."
The bill passed by a vote of 255 - 165. Science, Space, and Technology Committee Member amendments include:
An amendment by Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD) restricting spending on international activities within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The amendment passed by voice vote.
An amendment by Research and Science Education Subcommittee Chairman Mo Brooks (R-AL) prohibiting Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy awardees from spending taxpayer dollars to raise private capital or to advertise or promote the sale of their company's technologies. The amendment furthered oversight work initiated earlier this year by Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun. The amendment passed by voice vote.
An amendment by Representative Chip Cravaack (R-MN) prohibiting the continuation of a Congressionally-mandated Department of Energy requirement that grant recipients such as universities and small businesses replace certain light bulbs as a condition of receiving a DOE grant. The amendment passed by voice vote.
Additionally, Representatives Sandy Adams (R-FL) and Paul Broun (R-GA) sponsored an amendment to prohibit DOE from making taxpayers subordinate to private financers in any loan guarantee restructuring, as occurred in the case of Solyndra. The amendment text was drafted and filed by Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Broun and offered jointly by Reps. Adams and Broun, along with Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Steve Scalise (R-LA). The amendment passed by a vote of 348 -- 60.
"I was proud to offer an amendment with Representatives Stearns, Scalise, and Broun to ensure the protection of taxpayer dollars at the Department of Energy. American taxpayers were left out to dry by President Obama's administration when the loan given to the now bankrupt Solyndra was restructured. In the restructuring agreement, the Department of Energy ensured investors and special interests would recover their money first, before the American taxpayers. This is unacceptable. Our amendment ensures that the Department of Energy does not put the needs of the American taxpayer at the back of the line again."