Unjust and Unpatriotic: Clean Energy Funding Slashed

Unjust and Unpatriotic: Clean Energy Funding Slashed, Vital Program Eliminated In Key House Committee Vote

A Statement From The Rev. Mitch Hescox
President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network

In an abdication of leadership to advance a clean energy transformation to create sustainable jobs, clean air and water, and help overcome climate change, a key House Appropriations subcommittee voted today to slash funding for clean tech R&D and to eliminate ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy).  The budget for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE’s EERE) was nearly cut in half.

To keep ourselves on track to overcome climate change and significantly reduce air pollution, such funding needs to be tripled, not decimated.  

And to completely eliminate ARPA-E – well, there’s no other way to put this: it’s just plain stupid.  ARPA-E funds high-risk, high-reward projects private industry can’t or won’t fund.  These are the type of projects that will keep our country on the clean tech cutting edge.  

Some create the future; others get run over by it.  ARPA-E positions us to be the driver’s seat; eliminating ARPA-E makes us clean-tech road-kill.

This vote is the height of foolishness.  Clean energy is a multi-trillion dollar market.  It is in our national interest to be leaders in clean tech.

As such, this vote fails to live up to what a loving, just, wise, and patriotic society should be doing to create a better future for our children.

The one bit of good news, sort of, was that a program the Trump Administration wanted to eliminate that helps poor people weatherize their homes and make them more energy efficiency had its funding remain flat.

We will have to work extra hard to make sure funding levels are robust in the relevant Senate Appropriations bill, and then continue to push for robust funding when the House-Senate Conference finalizes the bill.

We’ll keep you posted.

 

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