Washington, D.C. The Subcommittee on Energy today held a hearing to review the Department of Energy’s (DOE) $2.72 billion budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), including technology research, development, demonstration, and commercialization activities.

Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas): “It is clear that EERE’s budget is simply unaffordable.  While every other federal program has had to adjust to spending caps and work within modest spending goals, EERE’s budget has continued to increase.  EERE’s budget dwarfs that of the other applied offices at DOE. It’s time to adjust EERE’s budget to reality.” 

EERE’s budget has grown by 58% in the last decade and received over $16 billion in stimulus funding. The $2.7 billion budget request for fiscal year 2016 is more than double the budgets for nuclear, fossil, and electricity research and development (R&D) combined. 

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “In Congress, we have the responsibility to ensure the efficient and effective use of American tax dollars. We can’t afford to impose expensive and inefficient technology on the energy market. When the government picks winners and losers in the energy technology marketplace, the American people pay the price. By investing in basic research that benefits all forms of energy, we can make energy less expensive, and that benefits consumers and helps the U.S. achieve energy independence.”

Witnesses today discussed how EERE is too focused on increasing the use of today’s technology, not conducting the fundamental research to lay the foundation for the next technology breakthrough. 

Many EERE programs are focused on reducing market barriers for existing technology or funding R&D activities already prioritized by the private sector. Instead of duplicating work that could be done in the private sector, several witnesses encouraged DOE to prioritize basic research and development with broad application to all forms of energy, and energy efficiency. 

The following witnesses testified today:

The Honorable David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Mr. Nick Loris, Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow, Heritage Foundation

Ms. Ruth McCormick, Director of Federal and State Affairs, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)

Dr. Veronique de Rugy, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University

For additional information about today’s hearing, including witness testimony and the archived webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website