COALITION ENDORSES ADMINISTRATION'S FY '98 BUDGET REQUEST FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS; RECOMMENDS FURTHER CUTS IN FOSSIL AND NUCLEAR ACCOUNTS
Washington D.C. -- Members of the Sustainable Energy coalition today announced plans to actively support the Clinton Administration's fiscal Year 1998 (FY '98) budget request of $1,052 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. The Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees have responsibility for these critical research and development programs are expected to begin marking up the FY '98 appropriations bills within the next few weeks.
In early February, the group, a coalition of 40+ national business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations, urged the White House to restore DOE's sustainable energy programs to their FY '95 levels by requesting a budget of $1.115 billion. It continues to recommend higher funding levels than the Administration has proposed for several programs such as Resource Assessment and District Energy as well as most of the individual renewable energy technology programs. However, noting the pressures on DOE's overall budget that forced cuts in many program areas, the Coalition applauds the White House's decision to seek a FY '98 appropriation that represents a 25% increase over the actual FY '97 appropriation of $840 million for these programs that will save consumers energy dollars and protect the environment.
Members of the Sustainable Energy Coalition continue to encourage DOE to reduce funding for its nuclear fusion and fossil fuel R&D programs by more than the relatively minor cuts of $7 million and $16 million respectively proposed for each. The Coalition welcomes the proposal to rescind $153 million in funding for the so-called "Clean Coal" program but urges greater cuts there as well.
However, members of the sustainable Energy coalition oppose DOE's proposal to continue the nuclear pyroprocessing program at a level of $50 million; the Coalition has consistently urged that this program by terminated. It also opposes funding the proposed new Nuclear Energy Security program for which $39.8 million has been requested in FY '98; the program is particularly objectionable because, in contrast with the practice of many sustainable energy programs, this would entail no cost-sharing by industry.
Public opinion surveys have consistently shown that voters believe the highest priority for federal energy spending should be given to renewable energy and energy efficiency while fossil fuel and nuclear power items should be the first subject to budget cuts.
The Sustainable Energy Coalition is a coalition of 40+ national business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organization (list available upon request) founded in 1992 to encourage a shift in federal energy priorities to favor improved energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
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