Republican Bill Pulls the Plug on America’s Clean Energy Future

Jul 11, 2013 Issues: Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Water

Washington, D.C.—The House passed its Fiscal Year 2014 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill late Thursday night on a mostly party line vote of 227 to 198 despite strong objections from members of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) and under the threat of veto from the White House.

In response to passage of this bill, SEEC released the following statement:

“House Republicans pulled the plug on America’s successful clean energy programs.  This partisan bill flies in the face of bipartisan efforts to save consumers money, enhance energy independence, improve the reliability of our electrical grid, and expand good-paying, domestic jobs.  It also jeopardizes our energy future by threatening the continuation of ARPA-E, which fosters breakthrough innovations in clean energy technologies.

“This approach is the opposite of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy; it’s a continuation of the failed fossil fuels above all else.  These backward-looking policies hinder America’s competiveness in the global clean energy economy by dramatically cutting investments in clean and renewable energy technologies that already are helping to break America’s foreign oil dependence.  SEEC Members call on House Republicans to work with us in a bipartisan fashion to make our nation more energy secure and invest in American clean energy jobs.”  

This measure provides critical funding for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy.  The House Republicans’ bill proposes to fund these agencies at $30.4 billion, $4.1 billion below the President’s FY 14 Budget Request and $2.9 billion, or nearly 10 percent, below the FY 13 enacted level.  The bill would:

  • Cut funding by 50 percent and combine the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) with the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), undermining the innovative technologies that already are helping to establish America’s energy independence;
  • Cut by 50 percent assistance for low-income families whose homes receive vital heat efficiency upgrades through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP);
  • Cut funding by 81 percent for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which supports innovative research and development of clean energy projects; and
  • Limit the ability of the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water to protect America’s water sources.

During consideration of the bill, House Republicans adopted a number of amendments that will further damage America’s successful renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.