Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter introduced an amendment to the 2014 Energy and Water spending bill to restore resources to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which helps maintain critical investments and jobs at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Jefferson County, CO.
This appropriations bill (HR 2609) proposes to consolidate two independent and important offices within the Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy with Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. House Republicans proposed cutting the budget for EERE by more than half, while adding an entirely new department and expenses.
Perlmutter noted, "This is not the kind of "two for one" deal you want to jump on. Their overarching funding scheme for EERE undermines our strategic energy investments and removes critical investments at our premier research laboratories like National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
Facilities such as NREL are leading proponents in energy research and innovation. Every day, the scientists, engineers and researchers at these labs are producing and bringing to market products that change the way we fuel our future and spawns thousands of good-paying private sector jobs here in the U.S.
We should invest in these facilities helping to bring next generation energy technologies to the market and help local energy entrepreneurs and private sector business owners drive down energy costs.
The investments we make today in our research laboratories will help secure our energy independence. It's good for job creation, and it is good for our national security.
The draconian cuts by the majority to our energy department will take control away from Americans to innovate and create a brighter, more sustainable and secure energy grid for tomorrow."
House Republicans are attempting to arbitrarily fund our country based on their own fictional $967 billion discretionary spending cap rather than the bipartisan cap agreed upon in the Budget Control Act. As a result, their funding scheme leaves less room for other agencies and programs to be considered later this year, as Republicans try and "frontload' their own projects.
H.R. 2609 attempts to appropriate $30.4 billion in FY 2014 for the Energy Department and federal water projects, which is $6.3 billion (17%) below the enacted level for FY 2013 and $4.1 billion below the President's request.