Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today offered his first amendment as a Member of Congress during the debate on the Republican budget resolution. This amendment to Congressman Paul Ryan's budget resolution would ensure funding for clean energy research and development rather than tax subsidies and corporate jets.
"Clean energy programs spur innovation, they save money for businesses and consumers, and they create jobs. To win the future, we must make these forward-looking programs a priority. We can't continue to pad the profits of big oil companies with billions in wasteful taxpayer subsidies," Congressman Huffman said.
"We have an opportunity here to support and continue to grow the clean energy economy. America should be leading the world in this field, but if we continue to starve these programs we will be ceding the field to our international competitors."
Huffman's amendment, considered today as a part of a day-long debate on the House budget resolution authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), would ensure adequate federal funding for investments in clean energy technologies through the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
The Huffman amendment would ensure a funding level of $2.1 billion for the programs, offset by the reduction or elimination of a series of wasteful expenditures, including tax subsidies for the major integrated oil companies and special depreciation for corporate jets.
In Huffman's North Coast congressional district, the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University received EERE funding to build and demonstrate a clean, renewable transportation system for the Coachella Valley region of southern California. This pioneering project led to an accelerated effort by major vehicle manufacturers to develop fuel cell vehicles and a network of 70 hydrogen stations around the U.S. The first commercially available fuel cell car just rolled off the Hyundai's production line two weeks ago.
"My amendment to restore clean energy funding will help support American businesses and research institutions who are developing advanced technologies and creating good jobs here in the U.S.," concluded Huffman.
Congressman Huffman's amendment was defeated late Wednesday by a party-line vote of 17-22.
During the deliberations in the Budget Committee, Huffman also co-sponsored three other amendments:
On Medicare -- to oppose any changes in law that would eliminate the Medicare guarantee of a specific set of health benefits, increase costs for seniors by converting Medicare into a voucher or premium support program, or weaken the traditional Medicare program;
On Education -- to reverse cuts to federal K-12 education funding;
On Secure Rural Schools -- to pave the way for legislation to address the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and related federal programs that are critical to counties and local agencies in Huffman's north coast district.