As usual the TeaBag GOP is going out on a limb to protect Oil, Coal, and Nuclear energy producers. NREL – the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado is on the chopping block. I did an internship while in graduate school at the Washington State Energy Office in 1993. The program I worked for was the Energy Ideas Clearing House which was funded by grants through the Department of Energy. The funding source was through the DofE’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs. NREL recieves their funding from those programs at the DoE. Republicans in the house are seeking to have these programs eliminated in the 2012 budget. They claim of course that these programs offer nothing to the US and have by and large failed. What should be of particular interest to everyone is that Republicans seems to believe that Renewable Energy isn’t necessary to explore. Defunding these programs will essentially defund NREL, EIC, NCAT and other Alternate Renewable Energy programs in the US.
According to a report in the Denver Sun GOP lawmakers are pushing to defund the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs in the 2012 budget, because they “have failed to live up to their supposed potential.” This is an assessment they offer without supporting data, but what is most interesting is Tom McClintock from a TBag district in California, who states:
“We should not follow the president’s poor planning in increasing the funding for these anti-energy boondoggles.”
Republicans are seeking to save money by defunding these programs while continuing to subsidize Oil, Coal and Nuclear Energy industries. Of course those subsidies are much larger than any monies spend on funding these energy research programs. NREL was founded in 1978, by the Carter Administration, and that was effectively the last time the nation attempted to develop solid energy policies to move us towards the future. According to the NREL website, it is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Backed by 33 years of achievement, NREL leads the way in helping meet the growing demand for clean energy.
So are renewable energy programs anti-energy boondoggles? Do these folks really believe wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuel research has no place in developing sound energy policy? So while progressives are out there hand-wringing about the awfulness of the biggest liar of all President Obama and how he hates the unemployed, the middle class, unions, who is also a closet Republican, is the second coming of Ronald Reagan, wants everyone to go to community college for no reason because they have already have mad skilz, Republicans in the House are getting away with destroying programs that are beneficial not just to the nation but to the world.
Until we the people are able to convince lawmakers that we would like to fund these programs the United States will never develop a coherent energy policy that can move us to a cleaner energy future, and while China is investing 54.4 billion dollars in renewable energy sources, we will cease to fund research into renewable energies, because they are deemed anti-energy by those whose political campaigns are funded by the oil, coal and nuclear industries. Until we pressure our law maker to do this we will continue to fight wars over oil. We all know that we went to Iraq because of Oil and not for any other reason.
According to Open Secrets, Rep. Lamborn of Colorado, the guy behind eliminating the funding source of these programs, in 2010 he received the majority of his donations from:
|Oil & Gas||$31,750||$1,250||$30,500|
Over his lifetime as a representative Oil and Gas are among the top three of those contributing to his campaigns, so it is no surprise he wants to eliminate funding for NREL. He received a lifetime total $191,762 total from Energy and Natural Resource Industries with $158,000 coming directly from PAC’s. We certainly know why this particular congressman is pushing to have NREL, NCAT, EIC defunded by eliminating the funding of the DOE’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs.
The Republican leadership on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development are as follows:
Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) [Chairman]
Energy and Natural Resources: about $217,000 life since 1998 of which pac’s donated $190,000
Energy and Natural Resources: $469,000 since 1998 with $419,000 coming from PAC’s
Energy & Natural Resources: $535,797 since 1998 with $441,445 coming from PAC’s
Energy & Natural Resources Industries: $659,599 since 1998 with $464,750 coming from PAC’s
Energy & Natural Resources: $279,446 $167,750
Is pretty new to congress and has received $21,000 from Energy and Natural Resource Industries
Also a new member and he received $79,200 from Energy and Natural Resource Industries
I know for a fact my congressman Norm Dicks will vote against these efforts, however your own congress-person needs to hear from you if you care about it at all. They need to know whether you for or against these efforts. If we truly are a government by the people for the people, your participation doesn’t have to end with voting. Blogging about how you hate, hate, hate every single thing about everyone in congress, isn’t as effective as contacting your congressperson. To me this is very important. Make some noise and implore your like minded friends and neighbors to do the same, especially if you care about moving towards building a green or sustainable future for future generations. They need to know where you stand on real issues. Write them a letter, shoot them an email, and let them know you understand the issues. Do it every day if you have to, but don’t let the Republicans get away with demagoguing renewable energy programs.
Cross Posted at DAGblog