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Appropriations Committee approves 2012 energy bill, cuts funding to clean energy and efficiency programs

15 Jun 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: House

The House Appropriations Committee approved by a vote of 26 to 20 Wednesday the 2012 Energy and Water appropriations bill, with deep cuts to Obama-lead clean energy and efficiency programs.

All Democrats and Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona opposed the legislation.

Altogether, the $30.6 trillion bill cut clean energy funding to $1.9 billion below President Obama’s requested amount. Solar energy, fuel-efficient vehicle development, high speed rail funding, energy efficiency research, weatherization, and biomass research and development were among many of the programs cut in the bill.

Rep. John Oliver, a Massachusetts Democrat, found the 90 percent reduction in funding to home weatherization programs particularly revolting. “What is the reason for this cut? Is it only because most of the weatherization funding is to low income people?” he said.

The bill also requires the Obama Administration to restart construction on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility—a policy that is opposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama alike. 

The bill will now go to the House floor.

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