Group Calls for Increased Federal Renewables Funding

In a letter delivered this week to the White House, a bipartisan group of 126 Members of Congress — comprising almost 30 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives — urged President Bush to significantly increase funding for federal energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07) budget request.

Noting that the President has, on multiple occasions, stressed the important role to be played by energy efficiency and renewable energy in meeting the nation’s future energy needs, the letter’s signers added: “We share your view” and urged that “as your Administration develops its Fiscal Year 2007 budget request, we urge that you use this opportunity to put your words into action.” Specifically, the 22 Republican, 1 Independent, and 103 Democratic Members recommended that the President “develop a request that fully funds the energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies at the levels authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.” The energy bill authorizes $632 million for renewable energy programs and $865 million for energy efficiency in FY07 — substantially more than the levels likely to be approved for these programs for FY06. In particular, the Members called upon the Administration to “retain the core programs that have historically been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [including] the advanced hydropower program as well as the wind, geothermal, and concentrating solar programs in addition to the buildings, industry, and vehicles efficiency programs.” These programs are among those said to be targeted for deep cuts or possible elimination in the FY07 budget request.

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