WASHINGTON -- The Republican-led House of Representatives passed the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act on Thursday night by a vote of 253 to 170. What may appear to be a mundane spending bill includes a number of measures meant to undo environmental programs.
The House version of the spending bill:
1. Slashes funding for renewable energy programs in the Department of Energy by more than $100 million, while boosting funding for coal and other fossil fuels. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the bill "targets lower-priority programs for cuts." (The reduction originally was bigger, but a Democratic amendment added some money for renewables and efficiency back into the package.)
2. Bars the Department of Energy from enforcing energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, thanks to an amendment from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas). This has been a pet issue for House Republicans, who have added the prohibition to previous spending bills, even though the standards originated in the 2007 energy bill that President George W. Bush signed into law.
3. Prevents the Energy Department from using appropriated funds for its climate model development and validation program -- an amendment from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). In a statement on Friday, Gosar said his amendment "is not about making a statement on climate change or the validity of climate science," but about "restoring fiscal responsibility and efficiency to federal spending as well as preventing duplication.”
4. Forbids spending to "design, implement, administer or carry out specified assessments regarding climate change," under an amendment from Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.). McKinley added a similar amendment to the defense spending bill in May.
5. Slashes funding for a federal program that provides incentives for swapping low-efficiency toilets for higher-efficiency models. Gosar also offered this amendment, axing what he dubbed the "Cash for Crappers" program.
Hat tip to Politico's Morning Energy for flagging the amendments.