Bush FY ’08 Budget Continues Trend of Short-Changing Energy-Efficiency Programs, Says Alliance
Washington, D.C., February 5, 2007 – Federal energy-efficiency programs yet again are getting short shrift in the administration’s budget request, with overall cuts of 18 percent proposed for Fiscal Year 2008 compared with Congress’s FY 2006 appropriation, the Alliance to Save Energy said today. (Congress has not completed the appropriations process for the current fiscal year, FY ’07.)
“Budgets – whether for individuals, businesses or governments – reflect priorities. The president’s FY ’08 budget request clearly signals that energy efficiency is not among the administration’s high-priority programs,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “This is particularly disheartening given that energy efficiency represents the most cost-effective and quickest way to tackle two issues that the president declared of utmost national importance in the State of the Union: to reduce our dangerous dependence on oil and to ‘confront the serious challenge of global climate change,’” she said.
“The good news is that Congress has signaled its intent to make energy-efficiency programs a priority, notwithstanding the administration’s budget request. The House has adopted a continuing resolution (CR) for the current fiscal year that adds $300 million for energy-efficiency and renewable energy programs over what was provided in FY ’06, and the Senate is poised to do the same,” Callahan said.
“We will work with the Congress to make sure that this priority for energy efficiency continues into the next fiscal year. Energy efficiency is an immediately available, ‘here and now,’ approach to meeting our nation’s energy, environmental, and economic needs,” Callahan said.
“Last year the average American family paid more than $5,000 in home and vehicle energy costs – a 32 percent increase from two years earlier,” Callahan continued. “We need to save every kilowatt hour of electricity, cubic foot of natural gas, and barrel of oil we can; yet if Congress were to ratify the president’s request for FY ‘08, funding for federal energy-efficiency programs would be roughly 37 percent lower, after inflation, than fiscal year 2002 federal funding for these programs.”