GOP seeks to cut green energy spending in half

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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House Republicans revealed their plan to cut green energy spending in half next year as a way to meet the cuts required under sequestration.

In protest to the Obama administration requesting more funding for the Energy Department in 2014, Republicans are cutting green energy spending by $1 billion — $911 million less spending than in 2013.

“In a challenging fiscal environment, we have to prioritize funding, and the Subcommittee chose to address the readiness and safety of the nation’s nuclear stockpile and to invest in critical infrastructure projects to protect lives and property and support economic growth,” said New Jersey Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.

The Obama administration’s proposed 2014 budget increases the Energy Department’s funding by 8 percent to $28.4 billion to fund clean energy programs, improve energy security, address global warming and modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons systems. The budget proposal also permanently extends green energy tax credits.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency programs make up $23 billion in spending over the next decade in the Obama budget blueprint.

Republicans have attacked the Energy Department’s controversial loan program, which lent millions of dollars to the now failed green companies Solyndra, Abound Solar and Beacon Power.

More recently, the luxury hybrid manufacturer Fisker Automotive has been circling the drain, and could represent the largest taxpayer loss since Solyndra — taxpayers stand to lose $171 million.

Republican lawmakers argued their bill would prevent the Energy Department from “subordinating” taxpayers’ stake in government backed loans to the interests of other investors.

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