The Republican-run House of Representatives has released a partial list of cuts that they think would help balance the U.S. budget, which will be running a deficit of nearly $1.5 trillion in fiscal year 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The partial list of cuts, which politicians describe as averaging 15 percent, target domestic spending and social welfare, including Americorps, public radio, community policing, and – get this – weatherization programs that help insulate homes and office buildings.
The cuts would be deep for general weatherization assistance (48.6 percent of the 2011 request) and absent for training and technical assistance, whose budget rises to 127 percent. The rest of weatherization line items – energy efficient appliance rebates, energy conservation competitive grants and Title V energy conservation block grants have been cut completely.
As Switchboard (the Natural Resources Defense Council staff blog) notes, these cuts will have deep, devastating and long-lasting effects on the Clean Energy Economy President Obama heralded when he first took office.
Additional cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) science programs, as run by such entities as Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) or the National Energy Technology Laboratory – to the tune of a fifth of the DOE’s budget, no less – would virtually end discoveries and innovation in renewable energy fields like solar, wind and geothermal or wave power.
Guess which programs aren’t cut? Defense, of course, and fossil fuels are only getting a 17 percent cut, after 50 years of subsidies. And the final sally? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has proposed regulating greenhouse gas emissions (namely CO2), is getting a 17 percent amputation.
For those who had hoped we were on the road to a “green” energy economy, news flash: you can’t get there from here.
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Photo Credit: House GOP Leader via Flickr CC