FY '07 Budget Request Ignores Energy Efficiency's Potential to Address High Prices, Tight Supplies

In the face of energy costs that have ballooned to roughly $4,500 a year for the average American family, the administration is proposing cuts in key energy-efficiency programs, the Alliance to Save Energy said today.

Washington, D.C., February 6, 2006 - "In a remarkable 'about face,' the president and his top energy lieutenant, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, have submitted a budget request that slashes funding for federal energy-efficiency programs after spending the past several months extolling the potential for energy efficiency to address the severe economic, energy security, and environmental issues surrounding the nation's energy use," Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan stated today. Callahan added, "The administration has called upon American consumers and businesses to do something that the FY '07 budget request does not: make meaningful investments in energy efficiency.

"In the face of energy costs that have ballooned to roughly $4,500 a year for the average American family, the administration is proposing cuts in key energy-efficiency programs such as building codes, the Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program, and weatherization programs," she said. "Building energy codes set a floor for minimum efficiency standards in new construction, locking in energy savings for decades; the Energy Star label provides consumers with valuable guidance for purchasing the most efficient energy-using equipment; and weatherization programs make energy more affordable for low-income people."

Callahan continued: "Congress made energy efficiency a cornerstone of the recently enacted Energy Policy Act of 2005, including important new and expanded authorities for energy-efficiency programs that are completely ignored in the president's proposed budget. The Alliance to Save Energy calls on the Congress to fulfill its commitment to the American people by saying 'no' to proposed cuts in ongoing federal energy- efficiency programs and by appropriating additional, new funding to initiate the innovative efficiency initiatives in the Energy Policy Act.

"Slashing funding for programs that deliver energy savings, make our country more competitive and spark investment in our economy is short-sighted; we need to invest more, not less, in America's greatest energy resource, energy efficiency. The Congress and the president made a commitment to do so just this past summer. It is time now, in the fiscal year 2007 appropriations cycle, to make good on that promise," Callahan concluded.
The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.

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