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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Markey Praises Obama Budget Proposal

Budget Shows Commitment to Creating Jobs, Passing Clean Energy and Climate Legislation, Protecting Middle Class Families

Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of twin energy and climate panels in the House, issued the following statement today after the Obama administration released the details of its budget request for Fiscal Year 2011.

“With this common sense budget, President Obama is making the tough choices necessary to protect middle-class families, revive our economy and lay the foundation for a clean energy economy that will put people back to work in clean energy jobs,” said Markey. “To create lasting prosperity, we need to create clean energy jobs here in America, so that we can take on China and other foreign competitors.”

“After eight years of the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration that turned record budget surpluses into trillion dollar deficits, President Obama is focusing on essential priorities while eliminating unnecessary spending.”

As the budget indicates, Congress can send comprehensive, budget-neutral energy legislation, like the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill, to the President this year. The president’s budget specifically calls for such legislation, and that the policy should be deficit-neutral, utilizing money from polluters and to help American families and invest in the jobs, technologies and companies that will build America’s clean energy future.

This year’s budget includes important funding increases for the EPA and invests $2.3 billion in applied energy research and development. This funding will position the United States as the world leader in clean energy technology and will help develop new industries and create good paying new jobs. The budget also eliminates more than $2.7 billion in tax subsidies for oil, coal and gas industries.

“For years R&D has been on R&R here in America,” said Markey. “But with this budget, the President is making a commitment to lead the way in the 21st Century clean energy economy. This budget invests in our workforce, so that the clean energy technologies of the next 100 years come from Boston, not Beijing.”

The Obama administration’s Interior Department budget includes provisions championed by Rep. Markey to ensure that American taxpayers are getting their fair share for giving Big Oil the right to drill on public land. The budget ensures that Big Oil companies “Use it or Lose it” on nonproducing leases by incorporating an idea recently reintroduced in the House by Rep. Markey to charge a new fee on non-producing oil and gas leases. Rep. Markey’s “Use it or Lose it” legislation passed the House in the 110th Congress.

The budget highlights the need for legislative action to recover $54 billion in royalty-free drilling that oil companies are poised to keep from American taxpayers that could otherwise be used for deficit control or other important measures. Rep. Markey reintroduced legislation last week, the Royalty Relief for American Consumers Act of 2010, which would correct this error and ensure the oil companies are paying their fair share as a way of protecting taxpayers and reducing our budget deficit.

“High oil prices have busted budgets in households and businesses for years, even as companies like ExxonMobil reap billions in profits,” said Markey. “Instead of oil companies drilling for free on public land, we should be drilling for deficit dollars by fixing this taxpayer rip-off.”

The budget also includes over $5 billion for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a $345 million increase that includes funds to implement the requirement that 100 percent of all cargo carried on passenger planes be screened, a mandate Rep. Markey authored that was included in the law implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  

Building on the $7.2 billion Recovery Act program that Rep. Markey championed to expand broadband deployment, the Obama administration’s budget requests an additional $418 million to expand broadband services to rural communities.

“In these difficult economic times, families across the Commonwealth and across the nation are tightening their belts. This budget is no different. President Obama is committed to eliminating wasteful spending, while preserving the core priorities that will improve our health care system, end our dependence on foreign oil and expand access to education,” Markey concluded.

The budget also includes $36 billion more for a loan guarantee program for the nuclear energy industry. The energy department, however, already has $20 billion for the program that has yet to be distributed.

“Any additional taxpayer support for new nuclear power plants has to consider the costs of nuclear power compared to other low-carbon or zero-carbon energy sources,” said Markey. “Ultimately, the best way to establish nuclear energy as cost-competitive is to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill that finally forces polluters to pay for the carbon pollution they produce.”

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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