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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama Administration "Strongly Opposes" Senate's Attempt to Cut RE-ENERGYSE Program

By Devon Swezey,
Originally posted at the Breakthrough Institute

Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expressed "strong opposition" to the Senate's attempt to cut funding for two key Obama administration energy initiatives, which received no support in the recent committee markup of Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The bill significantly scales back support for the administration's Energy Innovation Hubs, and its completely zeroes $115 million in funding requested for President Obama's new energy education initiative, RE-ENERGYSE.

According to Congress Daily:

OMB raised concerns about certain provisions, saying it strongly opposes reductions in funding for Energy Innovation Hubs, and the science and engineering education outreach campaign RE-ENERGYSE program, among other concerns.

"The Hubs will advance highly promising areas of energy science and technology from their early states and RE-ENERGYSE will help develop the science and engineering workforce needed to bring those ideas to life by encouraging tens of thousands of American students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship related to clean energy," OMB said.
The Breakthrough Institute recently organized a letter signed by over 100 institutions and universities urging Congress to fully fund the Re-ENERGYSE program, which they said "will train America's future energy workforce, accelerate our transition to a prosperous clean-energy economy, and ensure that we lead the world's burgeoning clean technology industries."

Yesterday, Breakthrough's Jesse Jenkins and Teryn Norris penned an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle warning that without a vigorous commitment to education and innovation in order to bridge the energy education gap, we will effectively cede the clean-energy race to our Asian competitors.

The full Senate took up the $34.3 billion Energy and Water Appropriations bill yesterday, and plans to clear it by the end of the week.

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