Republicans Target Energy Spending

Photo by republicanconference, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference/4601885424/sizes/z/in/photostream/">via Twitter</a>.


Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)’s Republican Study Committee on Thursday released a list of programs they’d like to see cut as part of the Spending Reduction Act of 2011. Clean energy, efficiency, rail, and climate programs were all atop the two-page list of cuts, reaffirming the fact that when Republicans say they want an “all of the above” energy plan, they really mean just coal, oil, gas, and sometimes nuclear.

On the cutting room floor, if the committee gets its way: the Applied Research program at the Department of Energy, Amtrak, and the Washington Metro, among other programs that help reduce energy use and develop new techonologies.

David Roberts at Grist highlights the cuts that target clean energy and transportation programs. Here are some of the major ones:

  • Energy Star Program. $52 million a year.
  • Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion a year.
  • Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
  • Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
  • Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.
  • Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.
  • New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.
  • FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.
  • Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
  • Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.

Most of these are small changes in the grand scheme of things the federal government spends money on. Notably the list doesn’t include cuts to defense or, more pertinent to the energy conversation, cuts to our investment in highways. And our research and development expenditures for energy are already paltry compared to other federal programs.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.