4:59 PM EDT

Tom McClintock, R-CA 4th

Mr. McCLINTOCK. Madam Chair, I offer this amendment on behalf of the Republican Study Committee to save roughly 10 percent from this appropriations bill, or $3.25 billion, simply by getting the Federal Government out of the energy subsidy business.

For more than 30 years, the Department of Energy has squandered billions of dollars subsidizing research and development that no private investor would touch with the promise it would somehow make our Nation energy independent.

[Time: 17:00]

Every year, we have spent untold billions on these programs, and every year, we have become more dependent on foreign oil. We are now running a deficit that threatens to bankrupt our country, and this forces us to cast a critical eye on every expenditure that fails to meet its objectives. None has failed so spectacularly as the Department of Energy's subsidy of energy research, which has left us billions of dollars poorer and has left us stuck with [Page: H4820]

mediocre

technologies that only survive on a lifeline of public subsidies.

I am sure the opposition will try to depict this amendment as some sort of Luddite reaction to green technology, but it is exactly the opposite. By stopping the government from doling out dollars to politically favored industries, by stopping it from picking winners and losers among emerging technologies competing for capital, we restore the natural flow of that capital toward those that are the most economically viable and technologically feasible.

For example, this amendment cuts funding to the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, which functions as an R&D department for every solar, biomass, geothermal, and wind energy company in the country.

We're not funding the most viable research in these technologies. Private capital beats a path to the door of viable technology. These expenditures are for research considered so dubious that no private investor in his right mind would risk his own capital. Yet this Congress has been more than willing to risk our constituents' capital in the form of their tax dollars, and it shouldn't surprise us that those investments have not paid off. This misallocation of resources not only destroys jobs

in productive ventures in order to create jobs in subsidized ones; it ends up reducing our energy potential instead of expanding it, and it destroys our wealth instead of creating it.

Politicians love to appear at ribbon cuttings and to issue self-congratulatory press releases at government-supported ``alternative energy'' businesses, but they fall strangely silent when asked to actually account for the billions of our dollars that they've wasted. The best thing we did for shale oil and gas technology was to have gotten the government out of the business of funding it. Guess what happened?

Once we got the government out, it took the productive sector just a few years to develop remarkable new drilling techniques that have unleashed a cornucopia of American energy into the market. Is there really any question at all as to which of these models actually works?

Let me give you another example:

This appropriations act proposes to spend $200 million for vehicle technology research. Isn't that what automobile manufacturers should do and used to do with their own capital? And if they're not willing to risk their own capital, what right has this Congress to risk our constituents' earnings?

These amendments move the government out of all sectors of subsidizing research--biomass, nuclear, solar, wind, fossil fuels--all across the board. Does that mean that research and development will stop on all of these technologies? On the contrary. It means that all of the distortions that government intervention has made in the energy sector can be corrected and that private capital can, once again, flow freely to those technologies that offer the greatest return at the lowest cost.

Thirty years of government energy subsidies promised to reduce our dependence on foreign oil; yet our dependence has become ever greater. All we have done is to squander billions of dollars of our Nation's treasure and to distort and impede the natural flow of investment dollars that could have produced far greater returns in viable technology. We are left with a bankrupt, energy-deficient and dependent Nation while propping up a few politically well-connected interests that are producing ethanol

and solar panels at a staggering expense--an expense that we have hidden from consumers with their own tax dollars.

Our energy policy over the last 30 years simply proves that Thomas Jefferson was right when he observed: ``were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.'' For 30 years, we have been directed from Washington on how to develop our energy. It should surprise no one that today we lack energy.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

5:04 PM EDT

Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. I do rise in strong opposition to the gentleman's amendment. It would cut over 10 percent of the total funding in the bill. Specifically, it would eliminate or significantly reduce funding for 14 different accounts. I have several concerns.

One, the gentleman said that it is time to get out of subsidizing energy research. Notice that he did zero out many accounts, and certainly would not argue that point. Yet, as a proponent myself of nuclear energy, I would point out that he did not throw out that account, and approximately $444 million would be left in the nuclear research account. So there was some selectivity that was engaged in here as far as the construction of the amendment.

Then my concern here as far as the research, as far as the whole broad range of energy research in this country, is that we do need to make that investment to move ahead economically, to move ahead in reducing our dependency upon oil imports and the use of carbon in this society, so I strongly oppose the gentleman's amendment.

I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

5:05 PM EDT

Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. I do rise in strong opposition to the gentleman's amendment. It would cut over 10 percent of the total funding in the bill. Specifically, it would eliminate or significantly reduce funding for 14 different accounts. I have several concerns.

One, the gentleman said that it is time to get out of subsidizing energy research. Notice that he did zero out many accounts, and certainly would not argue that point. Yet, as a proponent myself of nuclear energy, I would point out that he did not throw out that account, and approximately $444 million would be left in the nuclear research account. So there was some selectivity that was engaged in here as far as the construction of the amendment.

Then my concern here as far as the research, as far as the whole broad range of energy research in this country, is that we do need to make that investment to move ahead economically, to move ahead in reducing our dependency upon oil imports and the use of carbon in this society, so I strongly oppose the gentleman's amendment.

I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.

5:06 PM EDT

Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

This is a classic case of ancestor worship. They leave in the money for nuclear, but zero out the money for wind, zero out the money for solar, zero out the money for energy efficiency, zero out the money for conservation.

So here we are. It's 2 months after Fukushima. The capital markets are saying we're not going to touch new nuclear power plants, but this amendment says we're leaving in $476 million for research done by the Federal Government for nuclear power. Yet, for wind and for solar and for all the new technologies coming down the line that don't melt down, no, that money is going to be zeroed out--zero, zero--zero for the future.

This rearview mirror amendment, which is being made by the gentleman from California, just continues to reflect this attitude, this fear. Let's admit it. There's a fear that the oil and gas industry and that the nuclear industry have about wind and solar and biomass and geothermal in the ever-increasing efficiency of technologies all across the board.

So the green generation, they look down here, these young people, and they say, Is that possible? Is it possible that the Congress could actually vote to zero out wind and solar and keep in money for nuclear 2 months after Fukushima? Isn't it time for us to invest in these new technologies? You don't need an evacuation plan around a solar plant, around a wind plant or around an energy-efficiency facility.

So, again, I urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment. It's just basically another data point that indicates that the Republicans are really committed to zeroing out this renewable energy future for our country.

Just be knowledgeable here. There has not been a new nuclear power plant completed, that has been ordered, for 36 consecutive years, but there were 10,000 new megawatts of wind that were installed in our country just last year. If that's what they want to begin to zero out, if that's what they want to take out of the budget, it's only a reflection of basically, again, this technological ancestor worship.

5:06 PM EDT

Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

This is a classic case of ancestor worship. They leave in the money for nuclear, but zero out the money for wind, zero out the money for solar, zero out the money for energy efficiency, zero out the money for conservation.

So here we are. It's 2 months after Fukushima. The capital markets are saying we're not going to touch new nuclear power plants, but this amendment says we're leaving in $476 million for research done by the Federal Government for nuclear power. Yet, for wind and for solar and for all the new technologies coming down the line that don't melt down, no, that money is going to be zeroed out--zero, zero--zero for the future.

This rearview mirror amendment, which is being made by the gentleman from California, just continues to reflect this attitude, this fear. Let's admit it. There's a fear that the oil and gas industry and that the nuclear industry have about wind and solar and biomass and geothermal in the ever-increasing efficiency of technologies all across the board.

So the green generation, they look down here, these young people, and they say, Is that possible? Is it possible that the Congress could actually vote to zero out wind and solar and keep in money for nuclear 2 months after Fukushima? Isn't it time for us to invest in these new technologies? You don't need an evacuation plan around a solar plant, around a wind plant or around an energy-efficiency facility.

So, again, I urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment. It's just basically another data point that indicates that the Republicans are really committed to zeroing out this renewable energy future for our country.

Just be knowledgeable here. There has not been a new nuclear power plant completed, that has been ordered, for 36 consecutive years, but there were 10,000 new megawatts of wind that were installed in our country just last year. If that's what they want to begin to zero out, if that's what they want to take out of the budget, it's only a reflection of basically, again, this technological ancestor worship.

5:09 PM EDT

Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. That, in and of itself, is a subsidy. Let's be honest. It's Federal taxpayer money which is subsidizing an industry--the electric utility industry, the nuclear electric utility industry--that is probably the wealthiest industry in the United States with the exception of the oil and gas industry.

So why should the taxpayer be subsidizing that and at the same time be [Page: H4821]

taking out the funding for the wind and solar industry?

I urge a ``no'' vote.

5:10 PM EDT

Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Our Energy and Water bill is already $1 billion below last year's fiscal amount and $2.8 billion below fiscal year 2010. As a matter of fact, our entire mark is reaching the 2006 level. So the committee has done its homework. We've made deep cuts. I think the committee understands we're about to go off a fiscal cliff in our country, but the cuts that we've made were developed after a lot of hearings, a lot of discussion, a lot of thought.

The bill recommended by our committee recognizes that the Federal Government has gotten too large--and in many ways philosophically I agree with a lot of what the gentleman from California says, that we're too involved with the private sector, sometimes picking winners and losers and different technologies where the market should be choosing. But the committee is also mindful that there are appropriate roles that the government should take because sometimes the private sector can't or will not

take those risks.

The cuts proposed in this amendment would eliminate, as the ranking member said, or cut many worthwhile programs, put at risk, I think in many instances, our country's competitive intellectual advantage, and put in doubt perhaps the ability of the private sector to make some substantial investments. And those investments lead to jobs, jobs that we badly need.

So for that and many other reasons, I oppose the gentleman's amendment.

Madam Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

5:11 PM EDT

Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. And for what? Why would we zero out the wind and the solar budget? Why would we zero out the energy efficiency, the conservation budget? For what? Well, so that we can have larger tax breaks they tell us. Because in another room not too far from here there are a whole bunch of Republican negotiators saying that the $4 billion a year, which are the tax breaks for the oil industry, they're off the table. You can't touch those tax breaks for the oil industry, can't touch them. And over

the next 10 years, that's $40 billion for the oil industry.

So we're out here kneecapping wind and solar, kneecapping the future, kneecapping our ability to have wind and solar become equal with natural gas and coal as a way to generate electricity in our country. And in another room no more than 100 feet from here they're also meeting and deciding what the big deal is going to be between President Obama and the Republicans here in the Congress. And in that room they're saying no touching any tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, which is $4 billion

a year.

So see the total story here, see the big picture, see really what this agenda is. Here, it's kind of like the monsignor that goes up into the pulpit on Sunday and

he says, on Wednesday in the church hall, Father Geiney will lecture on the evils of gambling; on Thursday in the church hall, bingo. Well, here on the House floor, on Monday we're learning about the evils of giving any kind of subsidies to the wind and the solar industry, and in another room right around the corner they're saying $4 billion a year to the oil industry in tax breaks. That's the agenda. You have to see it in its totality. You have to capture it for all that it is as the story of

the future of our country.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I urge a very strong ``no'' vote on this amendment of the gentleman from California. This is a defining vote. This really goes to the heart of whether or not we are going to say to the young people in our country that we do have a renewable energy future for our country.

The past is just a memory, but the future will be the hard reality for young people in our country if we do not put together an energy agenda dependent upon the indigenous renewable energy resources in our country. This amendment zeros out that future. It makes it impossible for us to compete and to send a signal overseas that we are going to have true energy independence in our country.

I urge a ``no'' vote.

Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.