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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


67 MEMBERS OF U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CALL UPON CONGRESSIONAL APPROPRIATORS TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

WASHINGTON, DC, April 29, 2005 --/WORLD-WIRE/--
Sixty-seven Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling upon congressional appropriators to significantly increase funding for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) programs above the Fiscal Year 2006 levels being proposed by the White House.

The request comes in the form of a letter initiated by Representatives Greg Walden and Mark Udall and submitted to Representatives David Hobson and Peter Visclosky, Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Energy & Water. It calls for the "restoration of funding to last year's enacted levels for the DOE's EE/RE budget, while supporting the President's recommended levels for wind, fuel cells, and renewably based hydrogen."

Citing the rising costs for gasoline as well as oil and natural gas plus the corresponding increases in energy imports, the Members wrote that "we believe cutbacks in DOE's core EE/RE programs are short-sighted."

"Robust R&D funding for [EE/RE] programs remains important to help further reduce technical, institutional, and economic barriers to enable even faster market penetration. Such funding should not be curtailed when these technologies are just beginning to approach making real inroads into the marketplace."

The Members noted with concern the cuts being proposed in a number of DOE's core EE/RE programs and pointed out that "the American people have repeatedly signaled their support for renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. They understand that EE/RE programs can help address the most critical flaw in our nation's security: our economy's perilous reliance on foreign sources of energy."

"We therefore strongly urge you to develop an appropriations bill for FY06 that restores funding for those EE/RE programs being recommended for cuts, while accepting the President's recommended funding levels for wind, fuel cells, and renewably-based hydrogen."

The full text of the letter and list of signers follows.

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The Sustainable Energy Coalition is a coalition of 85 national and state business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations which work with Members of Congress and other interested parties to increase public support for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

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Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515


April 27, 2005

The Honorable David Hobson, Chairman
The Honorable Peter Visclosky, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy & Water
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Chairman Hobson and Ranking Member Visclosky:

As you develop the fiscal year 2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, we ask that you support restoration of funding to last year's enacted levels for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE/RE) budget, while supporting the President's recommended levels for wind, fuel cells, and renewably based hydrogen.

We recognize the pressures on the federal budget. However, at a time when the price of gasoline is exceeding $2 per gallon, a barrel of oil is over $50, and natural gas is more than $6/mmBtu, we believe cutbacks in DOE's core EE/RE programs are short-sighted.

Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy are particularly low-cost and effective strategies for lowering energy costs and enhancing national and homeland security. For example, studies suggest that every dollar invested in DOE-administered energy-efficiency R&D returns $20 to the nation's economy.

Similarly, the mix of sustainable energy technologies offers one of the most cost-effective options for reducing the export of U.S. dollars to pay for burgeoning oil and natural gas imports, which totaled $166 billion and $18 billion respectively in 2004. Renewable technologies also have the unique potential to tap large domestic resource bases at lower and lower costs, both to the economy and the environment.

Overall, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are making significant gains in the U.S. energy market place, creating domestic industries and good-paying jobs. Thus, the economic benefits of DOE's EE/RE programs are growing ever larger in this time of rising fuel prices.

However, robust R&D funding for these programs remains important to help further reduce technical, institutional, and economic barriers to enable even faster market penetration. Such funding should not be curtailed when these technologies are just beginning to approach making real inroads into the marketplace.

Unfortunately, funding levels for most of the DOE's core renewable energy programs have been targeted for reductions, including the biomass/biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, and solar energy programs. Under the FY06 budget request, overall funding for these programs would be reduced by nearly $24 million, not including another $4 million targeted to be cut from the Distributed Energy account. Of all of the DOE's core renewable energy programs, only wind energy has been proposed for a modest increase.

Similarly, a number of the core energy efficiency accounts are also targeted for reductions. These include the Industrial Energy Efficiency program, the Energy Efficient Buildings program, and the State Energy program, which would be cut by 24%, 11%, and 7% respectively.

We support both fuel cell and renewably-produced hydrogen technologies. However, they are not substitutes for the mix of energy-efficiency and renewable energy technologies that are poised to address the nation's most pressing energy needs today - and tomorrow.

Further cuts will only increase U.S. vulnerability to energy supply disruptions, worsen fuel price volatility, and cause higher energy prices overall unnecessarily, while also ceding lucrative energy efficiency and renewable energy product markets to other countries, such as Japan and Germany.

The American people have repeatedly signaled their support for renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. They understand that EE/RE programs can help address the most critical flaw in our nation's security: our economy's perilous reliance on foreign sources of energy.

We therefore strongly urge you to develop an appropriations bill for FY06 that restores funding for those EE/RE programs being recommended for cuts, while accepting the President's recommended funding levels for wind, fuel cells, and renewably-based hydrogen. We look forward to working with you on this important endeavor in the months ahead.

Sincerely,

1.) Rep. Mark Udall
2.) Rep. Greg Walden
3.) Rep. Vern Ehlers
4.) Rep. Sherrod Brown
5.) Rep. Tom Udall
6.) Rep. Sander Levin
7.) Rep. Richard Neal
8.) Rep. Rick Larsen
9.) Rep. Jay Inslee
10.) Rep. Jim McGovern
11.) Rep. Bob Filner
12.) Rep. Adam Smith
13.) Rep. Dale Kildee
14.) Rep. Adam Schiff
15.) Rep. Peter DeFazio
16.) Rep. Dennis Kucinich
17.) Rep. Tom Lantos
18.) Rep. Raul Grijalva
19.) Rep. Allyson Schwartz
20.) Rep. Chris Shays
21.) Rep. Ed Case
22.) Rep. Tom Allen
23.) Rep. Lane Evans
24.) Rep. Bernie Sanders
25.) Rep. Rosa DeLauro
26.) Rep. Jim McDermott
27.) Rep. Jim Langevin
28.) Rep. Jim Walsh
29.) Rep. Dennis Cardoza
30.) Rep. Sherwood Boehlert
31.) Rep. Maurice Hinchey
32.) Rep. Michael Honda
33.) Rep. Dan Lipinski
34.) Rep. Earl Blumenauer
35.) Rep. Mike Michaud
36.) Rep. Betty McCollum
37.) Rep. Donna Christiansen
38.) Rep. John Salazar
39.) Rep. Neil Abercrombie
40.) Rep. Diana DeGette
41.) Rep. Charles Bass
42.) Rep. Jerold Nadler
43.) Rep. Chris Van Hollen
44.) Rep. Frank Pallone
45.) Rep. Elijah Cummings
46.) Rep. Susan Davis
47.) Rep. David Price
48.) Rep. Wayne Gilchrest
49.) Rep. Roscoe Bartlett
50.) Rep. Charles Gonzalez
51.) Rep. Luis Guitierrez
52.) Rep. Jim Moran
53.) Rep. Rick Renzi
54.) Rep. Bob Beauprez
55.) Rep. Linda Sanchez
56.) Rep. Ron Kind
57.) Rep. Robert Brady
58.) Rep. Carolyn Maloney
59.) Rep. Rush Holt
60.) Rep. Zoe Lofgren
61.) Rep. Michael Capuano
62.) Rep. Lynn Woolsey
63.) Rep. Lois Capps
64.) Rep. Barbara Lee
65.) Rep. Donald Payne
66.) Rep. Doc Hastings
67.) Rep. Rob Simmons

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Contact:
Ken Bossong
202-293-2898, x.201
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY COALITION
1612 "K" Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
www.sustainableenergy.org

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