This is how it’s done: “Solar Energy Project Approved on Tribal Land” [Las Vegas Sun] The Nevada based, 350 megawatt facility, is expected to generate 200 construction jobs and about 20 permanent jobs on site.
Solar and alternative energy sources have had a rough time in the House of Representatives, an amendment offered by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) to H.R. 1 ( 2011) sought to eliminate subsidies for solar energy research. His amendment (H. Amdt 34) failed on a voice vote. [NYT] And, that was about the last good news.
Enter the Ryan Budget:
“Instead of ending Big Oil tax breaks, Rep. Ryan’s proposed FY 2013 budget would slash funding for investments in clean energy research, development, deployment, and commercialization, along with other energy programs. The plan calls for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone. From 2013 to 2017 the Ryan budget would spend a paltry total of $150 million over these five years on these programs—which is barely 20 percent of what was invested in only 2012. [AmProg]
The result? “If we followed this budget proposal, we’d be allowing fossil fuel companies, entrenched special interests, and their supporters in Congress to block our progress on clean energy and take our country in a direction Americans don’t want to go.” [NRDC] The differences between the parties are obvious, as pointed out by the Minority Committee Report:
In March 2012, House Republicans passed the Ryan budget resolution for FY2013, which included significant cuts to energy programs. No Democrats supported this measure. The Ryan budget would reduce funding for energy programs by almost 50% by 2022. In June 2012, the House passed H.R. 5325, an appropriations bill for 2013 that proposes to cut funding for clean energy and energy efficiency programs by more than $400 million, a 24% reduction from the previous year and 39% below the President’s request. This House bill cuts funds for wind energy by 25%, solar energy by 46%, weatherization assistance by 20%, and building efficiency research and development by 43%. House Republicans voted 207 to 29 in support of this bill. [DemECHouse pdf]
Nevada Representatives Amodei (R-NV2) and Heck (R-NV3) voted in favor of the Ryan Budget on March 28, 2012. [roll call 140] Representative Berkley (D-NV1) voted against the Ryan Budget to cut energy programs by 50%. All three members of the Nevada Congressional delegation voted against H.R. 5325 on June 6, 2012. [roll call 342] H.R. 5325 passed on a 255-165 vote.
How many other solar projects will never be launched because of the House Republican allegiance to the provisions of the Ryan Budget and the attempt to gut funding for solar energy development in H.R. 5325?