More "tough choices" revealed in the latest House appropriations bill:
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House Republicans unveiled a scaled-back $30.6 billion energy and water budget Wednesday that makes deep cuts from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs while trying to stabilize science and defense investments within tighter spending caps. […]
Within the Department of Energy, for example, science programs are held stable at $4.8 billion—just $42 million below the agreed upon 2011 level. And in the defense field, nuclear weapon activities are promised nearly $7.1 billion, a cut from the department’s request but still $195 million over 2011.
By comparison, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are big losers. Total funding in this sector is set at $1.3 billion, less than half of President Barack Obama’s request and $491 million below current funding.
By historical standards, the 111th Congress has been incredibly prolific. But on the most important issue facing humanity right now, they never even got so far as introducing a viable bill in the all-important upper chamber.Read Full Article
If you read my climate change primer, you know that House leaders were expected to push for a comprehensive energy package, tying together a climate change bill and legislation for a renewable energy standard, changes to nations electrical grid, and energy efficiency. On Tuesday, a draft of that House package was released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.Read Full Article
The AIG bonus scandal is burning through the media universe, but Congress is also continuing work on the legislative agenda. Some of the big pieces in the coming months will be on the energy front. New details were recently released about a proposed renewable energy standard (which would require utilities to produce a percentage of their power via renewable sources, like solar and wind). How that RES bill will move through the House and, more importantly, the Senate, is a bit confusing and very political. So, here's an OpenCongress primer on the looming energy/climate change battle.Read Full Article