Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. The amendment eliminates, as we know, international cooperative programs at the Department of Energy that focus on developing innovative energy technologies.
I appreciate and share the gentleman's concerns that activities that simply fund energy projects--like installing windmills--in other nations are not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. There is nothing in this program that funds windmills, with all due respect. This is especially true when we must rein in spending and eliminate waste all around. But this is a good example of when a scalpel is needed to save the worthwhile programs instead of a blunt instrument that eliminates the entire
The gentleman is correct that this program includes several small activities that the United States should not bankroll. However, many of the large activities in this program not only engender good will in countries like China, India, and Brazil--and Kazakhstan, which has been a tremendous ally in the war on terror--but they also increase economic activities abroad.
The energy sectors in China and India are increasing by leaps and bounds. In just the last 10 years, China's energy consumption has more than doubled. China and India and other nations' energy sectors represent an enormous economic opportunity for whoever will develop and supply energy technologies used in these rapidly growing countries. Cooperative programs eliminated by this amendment help the U.S. industry and researchers gain access to these booming markets. These programs don't cost much,
but they leverage much more in international contacts and economic opportunities. For this reason and many others, I oppose the amendment.
I yield to the ranking member, the gentleman from Indiana.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. I appreciate the gentleman yielding and would join him in his opposition to the gentleman's amendment.
Again, I think the chairman has stated the proposition very well, but I would point out that the program's technical assistance activities really do help prime markets for clean technologies in major emerging economies to support and encourage U.S. exports.
So again, I am opposed to the amendment and appreciate the gentleman yielding.