Kaptur Holds Hearing on Trump Budget Request for Department of Energy’s Science, Energy, and Environmental Management Programs
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, held a Subcommittee hearing on the Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Department of Energy’s Science, Energy, and Environmental Management Programs.
Chairwoman Kaptur Opening Statement As Prepared For Delivery
The Subcommittee will come to order as we begin our hearing on the Department of Energy’s fiscal year 2020 budget request with respect to its energy, science, and nuclear cleanup programs. Thank you, to both Under Secretaries Mr. Menezes and Mr. Dabbar for being here.
DOE addresses our nation’s most pressing energy, environmental, and nuclear security challenges through transformative science and technology. But the Trump Administration’s budget request drastically reduces or eliminates the very programs necessary for the Department to pursue its mission.
DOE’s budget request is 11 percent below last year’s levels, with most cuts in the non-defense side of the Department. In fact, non-defense programs (relating mostly to the innovation programs) are cut by 37 percent while defense programs are increased by 4 percent.
As I said last week at our hearing with Secretary Perry, this request is riddled with wrongheaded proposals:
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funding is cut by 86 percent. EERE’s research over the last nearly four decades has invented the future – it has driven down the costs of clean energy technologies that save consumers money and reduce carbon pollution. For example, since 2008, the cost of wind energy has dropped by 75%, electric vehicle batteries by 79%, and LED light bulbs by 94%.
- Further, this budget yet again eliminates the Weatherization Program, which has a direct, positive impact on the lives and pocketbooks of Americans, particularly elderly and low-income Americans. At a time when one in five households have had to forego necessities to pay energy bills, the Weatherization Program saves average citizens – our taxpayers – hundreds of dollars per home annually.
- Funding for the Office of Science—the nation’s largest federal supporter of basic research in the physical sciences—is cut by over $1 billion. These programs invest in foundational science to address national needs, promote scientific discovery, and develop 21st Century tools. In fact, this research has yielded over 100 Nobel prizes. And its researchers have made key scientific advances 2 ranging from solar energy and batteries, to inventing new materials, to decoding DNA. Those all are “wows” historically speaking.
- Finally, this request cuts Environmental Management by over $700 million and thus fails to meet our moral and legal obligation to clean up the nuclear legacy of nuclear weapons production and government research.
In addition to opposing these destructive cuts, I want to be clear that we will not support the use of budget gimmicks, in this case, the use of prior year balances to fund future projects. Last week we heard from Secretary Perry, who repeatedly committed to executing Congressional intent as directed. This means DOE must continue to execute its dollars appropriately and expeditiously. This Subcommittee will be closely monitoring this implementation.
The energy future of our country depends on DOE’s vital investments to solve our toughest energy challenges. The President’s budget request harms America’s energy future, our competitiveness, our consumers, and our economy. The Trump budget also falls short in meeting our obligations to the communities that have sacrificed, and still bear the brunt of costs borne from winning World War II.
With that, I’ll close my remarks. Thank you, Mr. Menezes and Mr. Dabbar, for being here today. We look forward to discussing the Department’s budget request and adapting it accordingly.
The Honorable Mark W. Menezes
Under Secretary of Energy
Department of Energy
The Honorable Paul Dabbar
Under Secretary for Science
Department of Energy