Renewable Energy Gains Congressional Support

In a letter delivered to the White House last week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives called upon President Bush to increase funding levels in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in its Fiscal Year 2005 (FY’05) budget request.

Washington D.C. – December 8, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Signed by 25 Republicans, 79 Democrats, and 1 Independent, the letter urged the President that his “FY05 budget request reflect an overall increase in the levels of support requested for the cross-section of energy efficiency programs and for the respective solar, wind, geothermal, biomass/biofuels, hydropower, and renewable hydrogen programs within the U.S. Department of Energy.” The signers, representing nearly one-quarter of the Congress, acknowledged the “tight budgtary constraints” facing the Administration but nonetheless “encourage[d the President] to support robust funding levels” for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Noting that the pending energy bill “authorizes a roughly 50 percent increase in energy efficiency and renewable energy funding over the next five years,” the letter argued that support for “DOE’s sustainable energy programs represents a sound investment that could, over time, actually contribute to the nation’s economic recovery by creating new domestic businesses and jobs, reducing energy imports, enhancing national security, improving the reliability of the nation’s electric transmission grid, and curbing the costs of energy-related environmental impacts.” The full text of the letter, which was circulated by the offices of Representatives Mark Udall and Zach Wamp, follows… Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 December 4, 2003 President George Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: We are writing to encourage you to support robust funding levels for the U.S. Department of Energy’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the Fiscal Year 2005 budget request that you will be submitting to the U.S. Congress in January. We are well aware of the tight budgetary constraints that face you and the members of your Administration. Yet, we believe that support for the DOE’s sustainable energy programs represents a sound investment that could, over time, actually contribute to the nation’s economic recovery by creating new domestic businesses and jobs, reducing energy imports, enhancing national security, improving the reliability of the nation’s electric transmission grid, and curbing the costs of energy-related environmental impacts. In fact, several recent analyses, such as the report of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), suggest that funding levels for DOE’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs should be substantially increased – at least doubled or more over the next five to ten years. Similarly, the pending energy bill authorizes a roughly 50% increase in energy efficiency and renewable energy funding over the next five years. Accordingly, we urge that your FY05 budget request reflect an overall increase in the levels of support requested for the cross-section of energy efficiency programs and for the respective solar, wind, geothermal, biomass/biofuels, hydropower, and renewable hydrogen programs within the U.S. Department of Energy. We look forward to working with you on this important endeavor. (The complete list of Representatives who signed to this letter can be obtained from the Sustainable Energy Coalition. See the link below)
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