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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2354) making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes:

* Mr. INSLEE. Mr. Chair, I am concerned about the devastating impact that the underlying legislation will have on the clean energy economy. H.R. 2354 is a disappointment to those working to advance the clean energy economy because it slashes investments--by 40 percent from the President's request--in the new clean energy jobs of the future, ranging from solar to biomass to wind, and new technologies for more energy efficient cars and buildings.

* Today, more than ever, we need investments in clean energy research, innovation, and manufacturing--investments which can grow new industries, create American jobs, reduce U.S. oil dependence, and increase our national security. H.R. 2354 abandons efforts for a new American energy economy that would lower electricity prices for families, reduce our reliance on foreign energy, and increase energy independence.

* While I understand the fiscal situation we are in, H.R. 2354 cuts programs that can be targeted to actually grow our economy. The bill slashes Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, EERE, by 27 percent, cuts the Advanced Research Projects Agency--Energy, ARPA-E, by 44 percent, cuts Weatherization Assistance Grants and associated training programs by 81 percent, all the while increasing funding for fossil fuel research and development. I believe that this demonstrates that the priorities of H.R 2354 are aligned with outdated 20th century energy policies that will not recharge our new economy. A 21st century Energy and Water Appropriations Act should include measures to increase funding for renewable energy and clean technology and these increases should be offset by dollars from fossil energy research and development.

* To help strengthen our economy and create new jobs, we must rebuild America. In a report released this week by the Brookings Institution entitled ``Sizing the Clean Energy Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment,'' it is reported that 2.7 million Americans are now employed in the clean technology economy. The report found that in the State of Washington, there are 83,676 clean energy jobs, with an annual wage of $46,457. The report showed that median wages for clean-economy workers are about 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages. The clean technology economy has created export intensive jobs; on average, twice as much value is exported from clean tech jobs than the national average. The potential for future job creation in the clean energy economy is endless and targeted investments in this new economy make sense.

* As the House of Representatives considers amendments to H.R. 2354, I urge my colleagues to consider the opportunities for economic growth and job creation embodied in the clean energy economy and oppose the misguided priorities in this bill.

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