June 17, 2008
Lewis: Energy and Water Appropriations bill does little to address rising gas prices
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif), Ranking Republican on the House Appropriations committee, commented today on the subcommittee approval of the Energy and Water appropriations legislation. The Energy and Water appropriations bill includes a total of $33.26 billion, which is $2.37 billion over last year’s funding level and $1.9 billion above the President’s request.
However, the legislation passed today does not include any substantive measures to help mitigate the nation’s growing energy crisis. While the bill funds some investments in energy research and development, the results from these projects – which can take decades to complete – would not be useful in addressing the immediate problem.
“I say to my friends in the majority, what does this bill do ease the pain and the pump for our constituents right now?” Lewis said.
Lewis also expressed concerns at the bill’s questionable prioritization of funds, including $500 million in new funding for grants authorized under the Energy Independence and Security Act – a program that has not been thoroughly reviewed or vetted by the Committee or the Administration and that has little competitiveness criteria or oversight standards.
“Throwing the taxpayers money into haphazard grant programs and research projects will do little, if anything, to ease the strain on American families due to high gas prices. We must take a harder look to see what can be done today to improve the bill to bring more immediate relief at the pump and to rein in unnecessary spending,” Lewis said.
“Fortunately, this bill is going through a regular, proper appropriations process that allows input and improvements from all sides – a trend that I hope continues upon consideration of this bill on the House floor,” he continued.
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