House Republicans Want To Cut Nearly $1 Billion In Renewable Funding For 2014

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers, (R-KY), at right. (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

This past Tuesday, President Obama unveiled his second-term plan for cutting carbon emissions, and delivered a bracing call for the American economy to advance into a clean energy future. This past Wednesday, House Republicans responded by moving a bill out of the Appropriations Committee that would cut investments in renewables by nearly a billion dollars.

The legislation in question is the Energy and Water appropriations bill, which is the fifth of twelve spending bills the House must pass to establish the discretionary budget for 2014. Sequestration — the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect earlier this year — set a top-line level of $967 billion for that spending. But Republicans are attempting to ease the cuts to the military by slicing even deeper into other programs. That led to a party-line vote in the committee to cut renewable investments in the bill by $911 million from their level in 2013.

The White House objects to both the GOP’s desire to bulk up defense spending at the expense of other priorities, as well as the sequestration levels themselves, so it’s threatened to veto the bills. Nevertheless, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said he’s happy with the committee’s work. “The end product is a good bill and one that I heartily endorse,” Rogers declared — never mind that a year ago, the Appropriations Committee wanted $700 million more for renewables, as ranking minority member Nita Lowey (D-NY) pointed out.

Rogers’ claim that the bill protects “our national defense” and invests “in the infrastructure that is the foundation of a thriving American economy and critical to the safety of our people,” is also a bit odd. The United States military is on the record that climate change is a major national security threat, and is making a bigger push toward adopting renewable energy that virtually any single other actor in the U.S. market. The International Energy Agency also just concluded that renewable power will make up a quarter of the world’s energy mix by 2018, suggesting renewable energy is a critical part of a thriving American economy by any reasonable definition of the terms.

To add insult to injury, the House Natural Resources Committee approved a bill on Friday that would require the Obama Administration to open up more offshore leases to oil and gas drilling. Despite the fact that the fossil fuel industry is already sitting on thousands of leases it isn’t bothering to exploit, 16 Democrats joined Republicans in calling for even more coastal waters to be handed over.

13 Responses to House Republicans Want To Cut Nearly $1 Billion In Renewable Funding For 2014

  1. BillD says:

    Makes sense if you don’t believe that greenhouse gases cause global warming, if prefer that America remain dependent on fossil fuels in order to increase profits for that sector and if you don’t care if alternative energy jobs go to China, Europe and anywhere but the USA.

  2. Ziggy Pope says:

    I am willing to bet that come tomorrow, all these amoral and unethical men will toddle themselves to a house of God and thank Him for their wealth they have obtained off the backs of the taxpayers and the good earth they soil.

  3. facts lean left says:

    Why does anybody question the fact that Republicans want Americans to die by the thousands?

  4. Ken says:

    I am of the opinion that members of The Far Right Wing of The Republican Party could mess up a wet dream. They are living, walking proof that STUPIDITY is a naturally occurring event within their ranks.

  5. Speakoutforscience says:

    House Republicans have also proposed to cut NASA’s Earth Science budget by 1/3, ensuring that climate data isn’t available to the world. Global warming/climate change isn’t happening if we can’t measure it. They are criminals as far as I am concerned.

  6. mulp says:

    I sure hope no one thinks Obama has any power to deal with climate change or pollution or the future.

    The environment and our collective future is in our hands, and since 1980 especially, We the People say we want a bright future, but then immediately vote for pillage and plunder because we do not want to sacrifice anything and expect the government to provide us a free lunch by punishing “them” the unworthy undeserving people.

    The conservatives have honed and trained We the People to consider all the civics lessons of most of American history, of Jefferson, of the WWII era and Cold War that was a collective work of Democrats and Republicans as radical leftist socialist propaganda and a government dictates everything and picks the winners instead of letting the private sector and market pick the optimal solution.

    Now consider where Obama has forced the conservatives to operate from:

    – under Obama, oil and gas production has increased for the first time since Carter acted to cause increases

    – under Obama, the increased production of natural gas on private land out of the control of the majors has killed the massive government picked LNG import plans on economics and killed new coal power plants on economics

    – under Obama, BP was forced to admit fault for a massive spill and waive liability limits forcing Republicans in Congress to apologize to the oil industry for the pressure they were under to admit fault

    – under Obama, conservative Republicans (governors, et al) are saying Obama is not being hard enough on BP and has not done enough to fix the BP pollution problems

    – Obama announced removal of a Republican moratorium on offshore drilling based on the industries stellar safety record the month before the BP disaster that harmed Redstate economies, leading to Republicans simultaneously trying to argue Obama was harming the economy with too much regulation and that Obama was to blame for BP by failing to exercise regulatory oversight

    – Obama has deferred to Congress for five years while the private land natural gas production out of control of the majors has upended the energy economics and is no acting years after the Supreme Court ruled the administration must regulate CO2, so the CO2 regulations are coming when the cost of compliance are extremely low – convert coal plants new and old to natural gas, or simply eliminate coal and let the cogen replace the load following role.

    – Obama, in sum, has let the free market and private sector drive the energy economics in the right directions, and now the Republicans are demanding that government pick the winners using government subsidies of oil and coal production on public land at prices that undercut the private landowners.

    Republicans are saying today:

    The government must not let the private sector and the market pick the solution:

    o Congress must be in control of picking the winners.

    o Congress must provide government subsidies to the big oil companies to prevent them from suffering losses from small businesses competing against them without government subsidies.

    After all, if the market is picking the winners and the big oil companies become far less profitable, who will be spending billions lobbying Congress and paying for political campaigns??

    And let’s be real, We the People are not stepping up to say “tax me for the good of the future of America’s children and grandchildren” so the only hope is the market, which Obama has been relying on to address the climate problems.

    The argument against the Republican bill is “you are refusing to let the market work and are trying to dictate the winners and losers from Washington with big government crony capitalist subsidies.”

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Yes, but their ‘God’ is just a projection onto the omniverse of their own twisted psyches.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Which of course is where the obsession with military might comes in. If a recalcitrant world refuses to follow the Reptilicans into the Dark, they must be ‘Shock and Awed’ into compliance.

  9. j says:

    meanwhile southwest US in upcoming week will most likely experience the hottest temps in recorded history anwhere on the entire planet.

    and remember when obama said seas will stop rising before first elected? as he has done nothing to even mitigate fossil fuel emissions, in his climate address he said, ” “The seas will continue rising … It’s going to take some time for the climate to stabilize.” veeerrrry inspiring indeed….basically we are all fu*(ed, get used to it!!!!!

  10. Frances Barbara Fraser says:

    During the Carboniferous Geologic era was the time of formation of the Appalachians which extend through Scotland the islands to the north east.the continents were positioned completely differently. That is why coal is found in the mountains as any beds laid down at the time crumpled between the continents The continental did not start to form until later.

  11. Stupidity is revered within their ranks.
    Remember W. and the anti intellectual movement?

  12. Frances Barbara Fraser says:

    @J Glaciologists have projected that if all use of fossil should stop now, the ice caps will continue to melt and sea level rise long enough that most of Florida will be submerged at the least

  13. Mike says:

    We tell the GOP that that the money is to build “solar panels” along the border, but that these are really part of a secret NSA program for keeping out illegals.