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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DICKS. The amendment prohibits funds for the Wind Powering America program, which has been funded since 1999 to increase information-sharing in support of expanding domestic wind power.

Madam Chairman, I rise to oppose the amendment. I appreciate my colleague's continued efforts to stop inappropriate or wasteful Federal spending. However, there is a distinction between improper and proper Federal activities, and I believe this amendment would eliminate an example of the latter.

I agree with my colleague that the government should not be funding the deployment of proven technologies, and for that reason we have significantly ramped back the wind energy program. In fact, our bill cuts the program by 25 percent and focuses the remaining funds on unproven technologies not yet in the market, like offshore wind. I know they don't have any of that in Arizona, but we have significant offshore wind in Washington State.

There is also a proper Federal role for facilitating the free flow of information where market failures prevent the efficient operation of free markets. In this case, a small program facilitates the free flow of information collected by national laboratories, such as resource maps and detailed wind data. Programs like this use small amounts of Federal funds to fix a market failure and get government out of the way so that our private sector can get to the work of creating manufacturing and construction jobs here at home.

We can talk about which specific parts of this program should be cut, but I cannot support its complete elimination, and I must oppose the amendment.


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