On February 14, 2006, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions held a briefing addressing the impacts of the President’s FY 2007 budget on energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) programs, including impacts upon states and low-income consumers. Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are critical elements of a national energy policy that will meet the nation’s goals of reducing energy imports, moderating energy prices, and improving the economy, national security, the environment and public health. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005, P.L. 109-58) was signed by the President on August 8, 2005 and authorized very substantial increases for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments because of Congressional concern about energy. Citing the rise in national energy prices and America ’s reliance on vulnerable energy resources, a bipartisan coalition of 126 House Members and 32 Senators urged the President to fully fund EE/RE programs at levels authorized by EPACT 2005. The President's budget request for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) EE/RE programs is $1.2 billion – essentially flat with FY 2006 appropriations and down from FY 2005 funding.
The first panel of the briefing covered the implications of the FY 2007 budget on federal energy efficiency and renewable energy programs including DOE’s EE/RE programs, focusing primarily on the R&D technology programs.
- Kevin Carroll, Majority Staff Director, House Science Energy Subcommittee
- Scott Sklar, President, The Stella Group
- Bill Prindle, Deputy Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
The second panel addressed the impact of the budget on energy programs operated by states, including weatherization. With dramatically rising energy prices for homes, businesses and drivers, the states are concerned by the proposed 32 percent cut to the Weatherization Assistance Program. Congress is also considering a one billion dollar supplemental appropriation for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). These funds are critical because of the increases in energy prices, which really hurt the poor, elderly and disabled. The states support funding for these important programs consistent with the authorized levels in EPACT 2005.
- Peter Smith, Chairman, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and President, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
- Mark Wolfe, Executive Director, National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA)
- Commissioner Ron Jones, Tennessee Regulatory Authority and Chair, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
- Nick Sunday, Chief, Office of Community Services, Ohio Department of Development
- Robert Scott, Program Manager, WV Office of Economic Opportunity, and East Coast Vice Chair, National Association of State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) Board of Directors