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The latest Energy and Water appropriations bill, the fifth of its kind to be presented before the Appropriations Committee, has outraged Democrats, who have begun attacking Republicans about the proposed 50% cut to spending on renewable energy.
Ranking Member of the subcommittee Marcy Kaptur, said that “we must develop a more secure energy future for this country. This is not really forward looking development for our country.”
The cut would see the amount spent on renewable energy research and development reduce by $911 million, and a total cut of $2.81 billion less than the 2013 budget.
Nita Lowey, a Ranking Member of the full committee, stated that, “with global carbon emissions at record highs and extreme weather events caused by global warming happening with increased frequency and deadly force, I see no justification for such drastic cuts to investments in renewable energy that decrease our carbon footprint.”
Related article: Developing Countries Lead the Way in Renewable Energy Investment
The republicans have also written into the bill that the budget used to support energy technology start-ups via the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program will be cut by 81%, considering the whole scheme to be too high risk and expensive. It is the program that invested in failures such as Solyndra, but also success stories such as Tesla.
Lowey believes that “our economy will be at a disadvantage to capitalize on the benefits of 21st century discoveries, ceding breakthroughs in areas like clean energy to China.
We are just beginning to see benefits from ARPA-E. This bill would effectively end that program.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com