Groups Call On Congress To Protect Energy Programs Facing Budget Cuts

Posted by Joseph Bebon on June 13, 2017 No Comments
Categories : Policy Watch

Five national business groups representing renewable energy technologies, developers, financiers and Fortune 500 buyers are urging Congress to fund what they feel are vital programs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

A June 13 letter was penned to House and Senate appropriators from the American Council On Renewable Energy, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Geothermal Energy Association, National Hydropower Association and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The groups conveyed support specifically for programs at the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Advanced Research Programs Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

The groups argue that the programs, which are facing “severe” proposed cuts in the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget, have helped support job creation, economic growth, and the U.S.’ dominant technological position in electric power and renewable energy research and development.

“Modern American wind turbines are among the most productive in the world, thanks to research efforts housed in the DOE’s Office of EERE and National Labs, as well as manufacturing innovation,” states Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Our industry will invest $85 billion and create 8,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by 2020. Maintaining these vital research programs at current levels will help America stay at the leading edge of innovation, accelerating investment and job creation into our nation’s future.”

“At a time when the United States must innovate in order to hold onto its competitive advantage, now is not the right time to stop funding key research and development programs,” adds Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “The SunShot initiative is one example of an Energy Department program that has helped bring American technologies straight to market, paying off on the government’s investment many times over.”

Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of ACORE, says, “The proposed cuts would seriously jeopardize America’s leadership position in cutting-edge research on clean energy technologies and harm the United States’ overall competitiveness in a rapidly growing global industry that presents a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity. The work done by EERE, NRE and ARPA-E fills a critical gap in research and development programs. These cuts would put our country at risk of falling behind other countries that are investing in this area, such as China.”

The full letter can be downloaded here.

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