Republicans Target Energy Spending

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

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


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.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest