Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

Floor Speech

Date: July 9, 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Energy


Ms. CASTOR of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment to boost the energy efficiency initiatives across America that have a proven return on investment for taxpayers.

This amendment is paid for by reducing--but not by eliminating--accounts that do not have the same return on investment for taxpayers.

The appropriation in the bill for energy efficiency and renewable energy is $112 million below the 2014 appropriated level, and it is $528 million below the budget request.

Now, I wish we could meet the budget request this year, but, colleagues, we should at least restore the money back to last year's levels, which is still a very modest investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy for America.

The funds tied to energy efficiency and renewable energy fuel jobs across America in advanced manufacturing and clean energy.

These investments in energy efficiency help make our businesses more competitive compared to businesses all across the globe. In addition, energy efficiency reduces the cost for consumers--wouldn't that be revolutionary, to put some money back into the pockets of our neighbors in this day and age--and has the added benefit of providing cleaner air.

Back home in Florida, I have noticed so many local governments investing in better lighting and energy efficiency. So this even has the potential to lower property taxes for our neighbors back home.

Mr. Chairman, we are on the cusp of a technological revolution when it comes to energy and energy efficiency. Look at what is happening all across America. We have a very diverse portfolio. But this budget today is skewed a little bit. It chops energy efficiency and renewable energy that has sufficient great potential to create jobs and it is a little too heavy on some of the fossil fuel areas.

I will suggest an area that my Republican colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee criticized during a committee meeting not too long ago, and that was the carbon capture and sequestration. Compare the return on investment right now provided in this bill for the multimillion-dollar amount we are putting into carbon capture that is not proven compared to what we could achieve on the return on investment on energy efficiency for our neighbors, for our businesses, and for jobs. So, therefore, this amendment will shift a little bit, not all, from those technologies and put it into a place where it works--energy efficiency.

I appreciate Ranking Member Kaptur's vision. She understands that this is our future, this is a job creator. I appreciate her work and Chairman Simpson's work on the appropriations bill.

I ask for an ``aye'' vote on the Castor amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.