Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Page 23, line 4, after the dollar amount insert ``(reduced by $6,000,000)''.
Page 62, line 2, after the dollar amount insert ``(increased by $6,000,000)''.
The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Maryland is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. POMPEO. Mr. Chairman, the amendment that I presented would decrease the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program by $45.6 million and the funding for DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program.
While I am certainly 100 percent behind innovation and the development of domestic sources of energy and new vehicle technologies, this program is simply not the way to do it. We shouldn't take money from one set of citizens to subsidize companies that, frankly, have had subsidies for too long in the development of new energy vehicle technologies.
Look, it's a subsidy program, plain and simple. The program is part of this present administration's liberal agenda to replace the free market with government bureaucrats in determining which energy sources we ought to use to propel our vehicles and for transportation.
You know, we are already seeing tremendous advances in hybrid technology and electric vehicle technology. In the State of Kansas, we have got folks coming up with wonderful, great, innovative ideas. They are seeking private capital markets to make that innovation happen. We have enormous venture capital firms that have made significant investment in these technologies. Why would the government use taxpayer money to compete with those ventures? They don't need the subsidies. They'll make these
This is a quarter billion dollars in an R&D subsidy in a sector that has received subsidies for decades, and they no longer need that. They are far [Page: H4841]
along. They can make the progress. They can make these vehicles work. And the market will also choose them when they provide a technology that provides a cost-effective solution for folks who want to drive their vehicles and for companies that want to move their products and goods all across our Nation.
You know, these subsidies come in lots of forms, and I have opposed them in every form. They come in our Tax Code. They come in the form of grants. They come in the form of other programs. Both the House and the Senate have recently rejected tax subsidies for specific fuel purposes already this year. This Vehicle Technologies Program should be no different.
The President today said that we need to eat our peas. I suggest that he was suggesting that we need to do some difficult things. I happen to like peas. But he said we should do some difficult things. This is an easy thing. I would just as soon see this entire technology subsidy go away, but my suggestion here in this amendment is only this: that we return to spending levels from 2008, just 2 short years ago. I, for one, certainly don't believe, and I don't think the folks in Kansas and across
this country believe, that we spent too little money on vehicle technology subsidies in 2008.
So I would urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word and rise in opposition to the amendment as well.
The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Indiana is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. I would point out that we have a vote pending in the House for a reduction of about $26.5 million from this account. This would be an additional reduction of another $45 million from this account.
The gentleman noted that what his intent is is to get the Vehicle Technologies Program, if I understand him correctly, back to where we were in 2008. If I did understand him correctly, I would suggest that that is why we are where we are today, because the levels for vehicle technology research were inadequate, totally inadequate in 2008.
You drive by a gas station today and gas is $4 a gallon. All of us repeatedly are asked what are we going to do about gas prices. If we are not going to act as far as price fixing, collusion, cartels, monopolies, speculation, and we can't do anything about the laws of supply and demand, I have indicated to my constituents the thing that Congress can do most effectively for the price of gasoline is help our constituents buy less of it.
If we can, through vehicle technology research, help everyone in this country get an extra mile per gallon, we have helped them with the price of gasoline. If we begin to cut back to prior year levels as far as the investment in making sure people can move in this country as efficiently as possible and reduce our dependency on imported oil, we are not going to make economic progress in this country and are going to continue to be held hostage to those overseas who send that oil to us for our
dollars that they then use for other nefarious purposes.
Again, I think this is an ill-advised amendment. I think it takes us in the wrong direction. We should be looking for ways to ensure that we do good research to get more miles per gallon and to make sure that the Department of Energy also, as they do this research, ensures that it is applied not for more power in cars but for more miles per gallon, because, again, these are our taxpayers dollars.
So for those reasons, again, I would be opposed to the gentleman's amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Let me just say to the gentleman from Kansas, he said he would like us at least to go back to, in this particular account, to the 2008 level. Maybe there is some consolation: In our bill, we actually go back to 2007 in this account, and the bill is just, just beneath the overall allocation, in terms of the final product, is just beneath the 2006 level. You won't find too many bills on the appropriations docket that go back to that level, recognizing this is 2011. Our committee
goes back to just below 2006 levels. So give us a little bit of credit.
I yield back the balance of my time.
The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Pompeo).
The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes appeared to have it.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my point of order.
The CHAIR. The point of order is withdrawn.
The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Tierney). [Page: H4803]
The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.
Mr. TONKO. Mr. Chair, first I want to thank my colleague, the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Bass) for offering this bipartisan amendment with me. He is a leader on energy issues, and I thank him for his support.
Mr. Chair, the Tonko-Bass amendment is simple. It will restore three specific, results-driven energy efficiency programs within the fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill to last year's levels. It is neither a stretch nor an overreach. It is a balanced approach, and it is fully offset.
First, this amendment will restore funding to the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP. WAP is the largest residential efficiency program in our Nation. It reduces the energy burden on low-income families and the elderly and disabled, and creates jobs, invests in local businesses, and advances technology, state-of-the-art technology. The 35 percent savings as a result of weatherizing homes under this program saves $437 in annual utility bills for the average homeowner.
Second, the amendment restores funding to the State Energy Program or SEP. SEP is the only cost-shared program administered by the United States Department of Energy that provides resources directly to the States for allocation by the Governor for use in energy efficiency. This includes 56 State and territory energy offices. And according to a study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, for every $1 in federal SEP funds, annual savings of 1.03 million source Btu's are saved, along with the cost
savings of $7.22 and a leveraging of $10.71 on that same $1.
Finally, the Tonko-Bass amendment restores funding to the Building Technologies Programs. Buildings in the United States use about 40 percent of our total energy and two-thirds of our electricity. As such, this program seeks to promote American innovation and technologies to reduce operating costs to building owners, which is vital in today's market.
Finally, Mr. Chair, this amendment has a net impact of zero dollars on budget authority and reduces 2012 outlays by $58 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It does so by offsetting the increase of spending with cuts to the Weapons Activities Account, specifically to the Readiness in Technical Base Facilities account. The Appropriations Committee report suggests they are seriously concerned with the recent cost growth reported for construction of two major projects in the account.
The committee report claims modernization will take several years and the considerable number of variables still at play argues against an excessively aggressive funding curve.
Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I wish to close by saying I do not believe we can afford to slip any further behind our global competitors in energy investments. A vote for this amendment is a vote in favor of decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, creating local, private sector contracting jobs, and providing State control on energy projects. [Page: H4842]
Again, I would like to commend the gentleman from New Hampshire for his leadership on this issue and thank him for his support.
I urge adoption of this amendment.
To: Southern States Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
From: Kenneth J. Nemeth, Secretary and Executive Director
Date: July 7, 2011
Re FY12 SEP, WAP and BTP Appropriations under H.R. 2354--Tonko Amendment
As an interstate compact organization representing 16 southern states and two U.S. territories, we are disappointed with the budget cuts to the U.S. State Energy Program (SEP), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Building Technologies Program (BTP) under the House Energy and Water Development FY 12 appropriations measure that was approved on June 15, 2011. The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) has a long and direct relationship with the state energy
offices and fully supports their role as a key component of implementing our country's energy policies.
I am writing to you to ask for your support of Representative Tonko's amendment to H.R. 2354 to restore funds to the State Energy Program, Weatherization Assistance Program and the Building Technologies Program. Representative Tonko will be circulating a ``Dear Colleague'' letter seeking your support for the amendment and we are urging you to sign in support of the amendment. Mr. Tonko's amendment would add funding for these three key programs to bring them up to FY11 levels as follows:
State Energy Program--add $25 million for a total of $50 million
Weatherization Assistance Program--add $141 million for a total of $174 million
DOE Building Technologies Program--add $62 million for a total of $212 million
This Nation's future is reliant on reducing our energy dependence. As a policy maker, it is important to understand the role of State Energy Offices and the importance of the State Energy Program, Weatherization Program and the Building Technologies Program to achieve these national goals. The SEP allows states to support a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects including improvements to schools and hospitals, establishing partnerships with utilities, businesses and industry
and facilitating the economic development opportunities for states while maximizing the development of states' renewable energy resources.
In keeping with protecting our economy while increasing the efficient use of energy, the U.S. DOE Buildings Technologies Program is essential and requires full FY11 funding levels to continue deploying technologies that will reduce pressure on tight energy supplies and help to restrain prices while protecting the environment. This program encourages innovation for emerging technologies and contributes to our global leadership while creating jobs and strengthening our economy.
Also, the Weatherization Program is essential to helping low-income families, the elderly and disabled by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and lowering their energy bills. During the economic strain that we are experiencing all across the country, cutting funding to this program would create even a larger burden on our citizens forcing them into more difficult choices on basic needs.
I strongly urge you to vote in favor of the Tonko Amendment so that these critical programs can continue contributing toward our Nation's energy goals.
U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL,
Washington, DC, July 7, 2011.
Hon. Paul Tonko,
House of Representatives, Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC.
Hon. Charles F. Bass,
House of Representatives, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.
DEAR CONGRESSMEN TONKO AND BASS: On behalf of the U.S. Green Building Council and our nearly 16,000 organizational members and 80 local chapters, I would like to thank you for introducing an amendment to the FY'12 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that will restore funding for the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, U.S. State Energy Program, and Building Technologies Program to FY'11 levels. Each of these programs has an established record of successfully
returning significant value to the American people. Continued funding for these programs is a crucial investment that reaches beyond short-term energy efficiency: they create jobs and savings opportunities for low-income families; support and spur building industry activity; and contribute to long-term national energy security goals.
Over the past thirty years, the Weatherization Assistance Program has served as the nation's largest residential energy conservation program. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s Short Term Energy Report, homes weatherized through WAP saved low-income residents $2.1 billion dollars in 2010. Weatherization returns $2.51 for every $1 invested and annually decreases national energy consumption by the equivalent of 24.1 million barrels of oil. WAP is an essential part of both
present and future national energy saving strategies.
The U.S. State Energy Program is a thirty-year-old cost-shared program that provides direct support and funding to State Energy Offices to develop and implement state allocated energy efficiency and innovation projects. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) found that, in a single year, the program enabled states to collectively perform 15,264 energy audits, 12,896 building upgrades, provide $12,345,608 in grants, and loan $30,403,388 towards energy efficiency projects. ORNL also found that
$1 of federal funding leveraged $10.71 in state and private funding.
The Building Technologies Program works with organizations across sectors to help develop technologies that make commercial and residential buildings more efficient and affordable. Over the life of the program, $14 billion of direct savings to the consumer has been reinvested in local economies. Additionally, since its founding 20 years ago, the Building Technologies Programs has saved the equivalent of over 12 billion gallons of gasoline.
This suite of programs provides both measurable and immeasurable value to tax-payers across the country. The U.S. Green Building Council commends your leadership by supporting these programs as they have proven to be a sound investment for this country's ability to thrive. We urge all other members to support this amendment to restore funding for each of these programs to FY'll levels to maintain this country's commitment to energy security and economic stability.
Vice President, National Policy,
U.S. Green Building Council.
Support the Tonko/Bass Amendment to the FY'12 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
July 11, 2011.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE: The undersigned companies, organizations and associations all strongly urge you to support the bi-partisan Tonko/Bass amendment to restore funding for energy efficiency programs within the FY'12 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. If the country is serious about addressing our energy security concerns, reducing energy costs, promoting economic growth and domestic jobs and cutting oil imports, then we should not give up on energy efficiency programs. Energy
efficiency is a cornerstone of a balanced energy policy.
The Tonko/Bass amendment would restore funding to the FY'11 levels for the Weatherization Assistance Program, the State Energy Program (SEP) and the Buildings Technology Program.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is the largest residential energy efficiency program in the nation. It reduces the energy burden on low-income families, the elderly and disabled, and creates jobs, invests in local businesses and advances technology. The 35% energy savings as a result of weatherizing homes under this program saves $437 in annual utility bills for the average homeowner.
SEP delivers extraordinary economic benefits to all sectors of the economy by working with the private sector in delivering key energy services. A study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that for every federal dollar invested in this program, $7 in energy savings are achieved and almost $11 in non-federal funds are leveraged.
Buildings consume approximately 40% of our energy in this country. The Buildings Technology Program conducts critical R&D that permits the private sector to incorporate new technologies into their construction. This allows businesses to maintain their competitive edge by reducing their costs of doing business and expanding against fierce global competition. These new products and technologies also help consumers every day.
These three programs that would be restored to FY'11 funding levels as a result of this amendment are critical to our future. The proposed amendment will increase Weatherization funding by $141.3 million, SEP funding by $25 million and the Buildings Technology Program by $60.5 million, for a total of $226.8 million. The amendment is fully offset.
Adirondack Community Action Programs, Inc. (NY)
Alexandria Economic Opportunity Commission (VA)
Alliance to Save Energy
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions
Baltimore County Community Action Agency
Boston Community Development, Inc.
Business Council for Sustainable Energy
California/Nevada Community Action Partnership
Central Florida Community Action Agency (CFAA), Inc.
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin
Community Action Partnership
Community Action Partnership of Idaho
Community Action Partnership of Lake County (IL)
Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana
Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo Co., Inc. (CA)
Conservation Law Foundation
Conservation Services Group
Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development
Direct Energy [Page: H4843]
Earth Advantage Institute
Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership
ENE (Environment Northeast)
Energy Future Coalition
Energy Platforms, LLC
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Illuminating Engineering Society
Izaak Walton League of America
Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (AL)
Johnson Controls, Inc.
League of Conservation Voters
Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (OR)
National Association for State Community Services Programs
National Association of Energy Service Companies
National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)
National Community Action Foundation
National Insulation Association
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Newburgh Community Action Committee, Inc. (NY)
Nicholas Community Action (WV)
North American Insulation Manufacturing Association
North Carolina Community Action Association
Northeast Missouri Community Action Agency
NYS Community Action Association (NY)
Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies
Ohio Heartland Community Action Commission
Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy
People Incorporated of Virginia
Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association
Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc. (NY)
Safe Climate Campaign
Schenectady Community Action Program (NY)
S.E. Idaho Community Action Agency, Inc.
Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies (NC)
Supportive Housing Network of New York
The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Inc. (SMACNA)
Tompkins Community Action, Inc. (NY)
The Dow Chemical Company
The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
The Weidt Group
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. Green Buildings Council
West CAP (WI)
West Virginia Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Wider Opportunities for Women
WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. (OH)
I yield back the balance of my time.