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Bad Time for U.S. to Cut Renewable Energy Research

The United States needs to invest heavily in energy efficiency, which is the “cheapest, quickest and cleanest way to lessen energy problems” in that country, according to the Alliance to Save Energy.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-04-09 <SolarAccess.com> “The Administration’s proposal to cut energy efficiency R&D and related spending by over 20 percent could not come at a worst time for American consumers and businesses,” says president David Nemtzow. “Specifically, the Administration is targeting the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development budget. These programs focus on improving energy efficiency in buildings, transportation, and industrial processes, and help bring new highly efficient and clean energy technologies into the marketplace.” Media reports indicate that Bush will reduce spending on renewable energy and energy efficiency by the federal DOE by $180 million, or 15 percent, while some people say the cuts could be as high as 30 percent. Bush says the electricity shortages in California are part of a broader energy crisis that requires urgent action, and has cited energy needs in his rejection of a campaign pledge to impose controls on carbon dioxide emissions by power plants and to reject the Kyoto Protocol. He wants to allow oil and gas drilling on protected federal lands, and is reviewing whether to delay or scrap efficiency standards on new appliances. “If the proposed cuts in the other clean energy programs are allowed to stand, then efficiency programs that currently save consumers more than $25 billion each year, lessen oil imports, and prevent the emission of millions of tons of pollution would be gravely threatened,” adds Nemtzow. “”A responsible and realistic energy plan is one that addresses needs for new energy supplies with decreasing energy demand.” “Energy efficiency must be the cornerstone of any energy budget and of any successful energy strategy,” he concludes. “Now more than ever, the nation needs balance to help us through energy problems.” The ASE is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient use of energy.