WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today issued the following statement in response to the release of the Bush Administrations Fiscal Year 2007 Department of Energy budget request:

“Last week the President highlighted the need to break America’s addiction to oil; this week he released a budget which fails to take effective steps to end that addiction. Perhaps the reason he used the State of the Union address to draw a line in the sand on the issue of oil is that he knew that lines in the sand disappear overnight.   Today’s budget makes clear that this Administration’s energy policy is unchanged – hold hands with OPEC while we drill in our wildlife refuges.  The Bush budget sends a ‘BUSINESS AS USUAL – KEEP YOUR OIL COMING’ love note signed sealed and delivered to OPEC and the oil and gas industry.”

“While the President spoke of promoting alternative energy sources last week, the Bush energy budget proposes only $120 million in funding for biomass energy sources – just $29 million over last year’s funding level for developing alternative fuels from switchgrass and other sources of cellulosic material. 

“If America wants to be a world leader in energy resources we need to double renewables, efficiency, and alternative energy research over the next five years.  Instead the President has cut the funding for renewables by 2 million dollars. The Bush Budget gives wind energy a paltry $4 million increase over the $40 million level appropriated last year.  Solar energy will only receive $149 million.  Geothermal energy will get zero funding, compared to $23 million last year.  Weatherization programs suffer a $91 million cut down to a total of $225 million,” said Rep. Markey.  “While shortchanging the energy sources of the future the Bush Administration continues to throw more and more money into nuclear power – despite the fact that not a single new nuclear power plant has been successfully ordered since 1973, and no permanent solution to the nuclear waste problem has yet been found.”

The President’s budget, nuclear energy R&D would increase from $444 to $559 million – an increase of $115 million.  The Bush Budget also proposes a new “Atoms for Peace” style Global Nuclear Energy Partnership to further spread nuclear power around the world at a time that we are trying to put the nuclear genie back in the bottle in places like Iran and North Korea.

“Democrats in Congress are prepared to fight the misplaced energy priorities contained in the Bush Budget and seek more funding to move America beyond petroleum and towards a more environmentally sustainable energy future,” Markey continued.  “The President needs to put his money where his mouth is, if he is serious about getting the United States on the track to compete with other nations as a leader in the energy industry. 

Today’s budget released by the White House re-affirmed Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman statements  last week where he told reporters not to take the President literally when he pledged to decrease U.S. oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent by 2025.  The Bush Administration’s energy proposals have made little impact on the energy industry, U.S. crude rose 43 cents to $65.80 a barrel today.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s work to promote alternative fuels, check out http://markey.house.gov/
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February 6, 2006
 CONTACT: Tara McGuiness      
Jeff Duncan