Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. The gentleman from Virginia's amendment would increase funding for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and reduce funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development. This would result in an increase in a program that already receives sufficient funds and hamper efforts to further technologies that produce most of our electricity.
Let's be frank. Fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, generate 70 percent of our Nation's electricity, and we will use these valuable energy sources for many generations.
We must ensure that we use those resources, of course, as efficiently and cleanly as possible. Further, the amendment increases funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a program that has seen record increases since 2007, and still has nearly, if you can believe it, $9 billion of unspent stimulus funds from 2009.
There is a proper role for the core Energy Efficiency and Renewable programs, and the bill preserves funding for those activities while cutting out activities that are redundant with the private sector or that intervene improperly in market innovation.
The amendment would also add back unnecessary funding for administration proposals that are poorly planned and lack justification. That in and of itself is bad enough, and I oppose the amendment and urge others to do so as well.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. PETERS. I rise to support the Connolly-Peters amendment because times of fiscal restraint force us to prioritize. However, I am disappointed that the Republican bill prioritizes the needs of extremely profitable private companies over the manufacturing and innovative jobs of the future.
ExxonMobil Corp. earned nearly $11 billion in the first 3 months of the year, Shell earned $6.3 billion in the first quarter, and BP made $7.1 billion. Yet the Republican bill includes $476 million for fossil energy R&D. Clearly, the private sector has the initiative and the resources to conduct this research on their own, and they are doing so. Private sector R&D currently dwarfs activities at the Department of Energy, yet this program is actually seeing an increase in funds.
This amendment strikes a better balance by decreasing funding in the fossil energy account and restoring the Vehicle Technologies Program to fiscal year 2011 levels. The Vehicle Technologies Program supports private sector growth and the development of innovative technologies to meet mileage and emission standards for both cars and trucks.
Consider how much fuel is used in the transport of consumer goods across our Nation on medium and heavy-duty trucks. Small gains in efficiency can have huge gains in fuel and cost savings. The Vehicle Technologies Program is investing heavily in new truck technologies, which have some of the greatest potential to reduce our Nation's petroleum use and dependence on foreign oil.
There is a global competition right now to determine which countries will produce the cars and trucks of the future. There is no doubt in the years ahead more Americans will be driving hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles, and cars and trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells or natural gas. The only question is whether these new technologies will be researched, developed, and manufactured here in the United States or overseas.
The Vehicle Technologies Program is critical to ensure that the American automobile industry and manufacturing base will continue to be globally competitive, and that we as a Nation will not trade our dependence on foreign oil for dependence on foreign batteries and other emerging technology.
I would like to thank my colleague, Mr. Connolly, for offering this amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support American innovation and manufacturing and support this amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly).
The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.