Clean-Energy Cuts at the Top of the List.

As Jamelle Bouie said below, the Republicans' proposed budget cuts amount to small savings that would do little to solve our long-term fiscal problems and have the added disadvantage of cutting investment at a time when we still need government spending to promote growth.

But David Roberts at Grist notices another thing about the cuts: Clean energy and energy-efficiency spending programs were at the top of the list. He details them, and his list is below:

  • Energy Star Program: $52 million a year.
  • Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants: $2.5 billion a year.
  • DOE Weatherization Grants to States: $530 million a year.
  • Amtrak Subsidies: $1.565 billion a year. (There are no cuts to highway subsidies, of course.)
  • Technology Innovation Program: $70 million a year. (Wait, I thought support for innovation was "post-partisan"!)
  • Applied Research at Department of Energy: $1.27 billion a year.
  • New Starts Transit: $2 billion a year.
  • Subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: $12.5 million a year.
  • Title X Family Planning: $318 million a year.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission: $76 million a year. (Why do we need this? They already have coal mines there!)
  • FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: $200 million a year.
  • Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: $150 million a year.
  • National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program: $56.2 million a year.

What's so depressing about this is how meager spending for those programs already is, in light of the entire national budget picture. But the constituencies for a lot of these programs are small. Let's hope they find champions before they're eviscerated.

-- Monica Potts

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