WASHINGTON (February 4, 2008) -- The Bush administration’s just-released $3.1-trillion budget flies in the face of common sense in solving America’s energy crisis, according to energy and policy experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The same pen that slashed investments in energy efficiency and renewables by 28 percent ups the giveaways to outdated dirty energy like nuclear power, conventional coal, and oil.
Symbolic of the abandonment of energy efficiency is the zeroing-out of the budget of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which the Department of Energy itself calls “this country's longest running, and perhaps most successful energy efficiency program.” In FY06, DOE weatherized 97,000 homes. Last year, only 55,000 homes. Now it will go to zero.
The following is a statement from David Goldstein, PhD, energy efficiency expert and co-director of NRDC’s energy program:
“The president’s budget not only misplaces our nation’s energy priorities, it also works against the economic stimulus that the president is otherwise advocating. Weatherization is one of the very few programs where federal spending today produces jobs where they are needed tomorrow, and it puts spending money in consumers’ pockets the very next month - as well as every month thereafter without further depleting the Treasury.
“Meanwhile, the renewable energy industries have already noted that reductions in government investments in renewables leads to layoffs immediately.”