Bloomberg News

Republicans Propose Energy Cuts as Fossil Fuels Boosted

April 17, 2012

House Republicans released a fiscal 2013 Energy Department budget plan shifting more money to fossil-fuel programs while cutting total spending to $26.3 billion, about $358 million less than this year.

The House Appropriations Committee energy panel will vote tomorrow on the measure, which reflects the differing energy policy priorities between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans. The committee said the Republican budget is about $1.8 billion lower than Obama’s 2013 request.

If it passes the Republican-controlled House, the bill would face a Senate led by Democrats.

The draft budget gives priority to programs that “support economic competitiveness,” reduce gasoline price volatility and enhance U.S. energy security, Republicans said in a statement.

“While cutting spending in lower-priority programs, the bill focuses taxpayer dollars where they are most needed and best used,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement.

Obama’s budget request calls for increasing spending on energy efficiency and alternate energy by 25 percent. Projects supporting oil, natural gas and cleaner coal would receive $554 million, or $207 million more than they did in fiscal 2012, under the Republican proposal.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers’s home state of Kentucky is the third-largest U.S. coal producer, behind Wyoming and West Virginia.

Republicans would also provide $25 million to revive the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada, which the Obama administration has moved to shut.

The House bill also provides $1.01 billion, or $36 million above fiscal year 2012, to Energy programs that address the causes and effects of increased gasoline prices, according to the committee. That includes a $25 million appropriation for research into shale oil resources.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at jsnyder24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net


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