Colorado Lawmaker Wants To Cut Renewable Energy Funds

DENVER (AP) — Colorado congressman Doug Lamborn is one of nine House members asking that funds be yanked from programs that finance the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in suburban Denver.

The request by the Republican from Colorado Springs and others was sent Thursday to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

The lawmakers ask that funding in the 2012 budget be eliminated for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs because they “have failed to live up to their supposed potential.”

If the research funded by the programs is revolutionary and promising, private investors should be competing to secure a piece of “this new energy cornucopia,” the letter says.

The programs fund the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, which conducts research and works with companies to market new technologies.

A spokeswoman said Lamborn was on a plane and unavailable to comment Friday.

Eliminating the funding likely would face a tough battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate and with President Barack Obama, who has promoted renewable energy.

Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter, whose district includes the lab in Golden, will fight efforts in the House to cut the funding, said Leslie Oliver, his spokeswoman.

Perlmutter said in a statement that the lab affects more than 5,500 public and private jobs in Colorado.

“These are good jobs here and good jobs now for thousands of Coloradans,” Perlmutter said. “Their innovation and technological advancements, both in the public and private sector, will lead our nation toward long term economic security and energy independence.”

The national lab contributes $714 million to the Colorado economy, according to an analysis released by the University of Colorado earlier this year. The full-time workforce grew from 917 in 2007 to the current 2,300.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Ben Hoffman

    A more apropos title would be “Colorado congressman Doug Lamborn proposes cutting 5,500 jobs.”

    • Realist

      Those are not jobs. Those are people sitting around doing nothing all day. Producing no results. I am a former employee, I know. I left because there was nothing to do. And when people try to create something useful, strive for excellence, etc. – they get forced out of the lab. NREL is very protecting of their status quo – DO NOTHING, SAY NOTHING, then you will get paid. Losers.

  • Tommy W. Cartwright

    99% of all federally funded programs should be discontinued. If progress is to be made, private sector businesses are the way to go.
    Quit relying on TAX money to build businesses.
    To try and fail is a right.
    To try and succeed is a right.
    To beg for money is wrong.
    Tommy W. Cartwright
    Sovereign Citizen of the Sovereign state of Nevada

    • Realist

      Well, and with that I would strongly disagree – federal jobs are needed and can be very helpful. Just because NREL is filled with lazy losers, doesn’t mean that all federal employees are bad. Additionally, just so you know – NREL employees are not federal employees. DOE owns the lab – true, but it is managed for DOE by a contractor (MRI/Battelle=ASE). So, essentially, NREL is a sub-contractor. They are not and are not allowed to refer to themselves as federal employees.

  • Really Unreal

    Republicans only want funding for programs that increase oil drilling. Why? Cuz Repub’s are in the pockets of the oil industry. Most of them are oil men (the Bushs, Cheneys and don’t forget Condy had an oil tanker named after her). Any type of energy that would take money away from the oil industry is bad for America in their little minds.

    • Realist

      I am not a republican, I am a democrat. But on NREL I agree with the republicans – this lab is a huge waste of tax payers money. They shouldn’t just cut the funding, they should shut the lab down. NREL calls itself a “premier” renewable energy lab, but all other national labs do it better. They earn their pay, NREL doesn’t. As simple as that.

  • don carlon

    your a nut job tom.

  • Max

    Former NREL employee as well – the stories I could tell you would SHOCK you.

  • Mary

    ILet’s cut the salary of the lawmakers. Prohibit lawmakers from investing. We need more science and less hype.

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