Should the U.S. Halt Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs Until the Economy Improves?

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs

¬†Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs ( Solar Thermal Magazine ) – Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne is offering an amendment that could cut spending by $1.7 billion. Byrne said the amendment would eliminate the Department of Energy’s “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program”, which he says allows the government to invest millions into high risk research for green energy products.

Quote from Congressman Byrne

At a time when our economy continues to recover and many Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet, including paying their energy bills, we must focus on reasonable energy strategies that allow for the most affordable and reliable energy resources for consumers and businesses alike.

 


A transcript of Congressman Byrne’s complete remarks in support of his amendment can be found below:

“This amendment seeks to strike all of the funding for the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program. This program under the Department of Energy allows the government to invest millions of taxpayer dollars in high risk research and development schemes for green energy projects to the tune, as we’ve heard already, of over 1.7 billion dollars.

The government should not be subsidizing the research and development initiatives of individual companies. Competition and innovation have been key aspects of private sector success from day one, in the energy sector and other parts of our economy, and the government should not take the role of the private investor.

For example, the EERE program facilitated a 2.5 million dollar grant to Massachusetts based TIAX LLC to work with Green Mountain Coffee to reduce the energy used in roasting coffee beans.

The program has also allowed for millions of dollars to large chemical and auto companies such as providing a subsidy to Ford Motor Company to develop a new sheet metal forming tool.

Now I have nothing against those companies, but why should the government be picking and choosing winners and losers.

Every business has a bottom line, which is in itself a direct incentive for developing methods for becoming more energy efficient and innovative. By subsidizing this small sector of the energy economy, which includes renewables such as solar and wind and allows for such focuses as the weatherization of houses, we are essentially allowing DOE to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on unconventional energy initiatives and projects that place taxpayer dollars at risk and that are not likely to produce a return on investment.

We, as a Congress, have continuously stated the need for an all-of-the-above energy strategy, but continued investment into the EERE program focuses on a small portion of a largely unproductive portion of the energy sector at the expense of more traditional energy sources, such as fossil fuels and nuclear, that we have a proven, reliable track record on.

With regard to National Energy Policy, the Committee Report even highlights the President’s failure to adequately focus our resources on an “all of the above” energy strategy, stating that his “fiscal year 2015 budget request, like its predecessors, instead seems more ideological than practical”, cutting “this country’s most important energy sources in order to increase funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.”

It goes on to state that “As attractive as renewable energy may be, it will supply only a mere fraction of this country’s energy needs over the next 50 years, and it presents considerable challenges to the nation’s existing electric power grid, given its increasing variability and uncertainty from supply and demand changes.”

At a time when our economy continues to recover and many Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet, including paying their energy bills, we must focus on reasonable energy strategies that allow for the most affordable and reliable energy resources for consumers and businesses alike.

I am pleased that the committee has made reductions to this account in general. However, I believe that eliminating the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program altogether will achieve all of our goals while allowing savings to go towards the very important goal of reducing the deficit of this nation.”

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3 Comments

  • Thats Backwards!!! They need to implement these things to improve the economy.

  • E says:

    Funny..
    We subsidize the Big Oil companies yet they are the richest companies in the world…
    he doesn’t mention that.. In his speech about free market and not subsidizing companies
    I’m pretty sure he’s on their payroll to keep these energy-efficiency-and-renewable-energy-programs from being funded so that these Big Oil companies keep their strangle hold on the economy..

  • robert says:

    Backwars thinking by another Congressman. His party is transparent, I must say.

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