|February 6, 2008|
|President Bush’s budget request falls far short of lofty goals set out in State of the Union address|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|President Bush spoke eloquently during his State of the Union address about the need to continue U.S. leadership in developing energy-efficiency programs to cut greenhouse gas. |
Some hailed the President for finally getting it. They are saddened by his just released budget.
No group is as disappointed as the Alliance to Save Energy. The Alliance is not a bunch of lefty environmental activists out to trash the President.
Senator Mark Pryor, a moderate Democrat from Arkansas, co-chairs the group with James Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy.
Membership includes Dow Chemical, Exelon, Whirlpool, National Grid and Lockheed Martin along with Natural Resources Defense Council and Consumer Federation of America.
The Alliance criticizes the budget as a “disappointing ‘second act’ to the President’s lofty State of the Union goals.”
The `09 request, according to the Alliance, “eliminates most recent funding increases for energy-efficiency programs and flies in the face of the lofty clean energy and efficiency goals set forth in the State of the Union.”
Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance, issued a statement that asks: “How can the President seriously expect U.S. leadership in developing clean energy technologies and confronting climate change when he sends Congress a budget that erases nearly all of the gains in energy-efficiency program funding over the past five years.” That’s a very good question.
Callahan is especially irked with a nine percent cut to $44M in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, the “most prominent voluntary program to address global warming.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Assn., another group of non-bomb throwers, is upset with a budget that hikes Food and Drug Administration food-related spending from $513M to $545M.
That increase “does little more than cover the cost of inflation and falls short of what is ultimately needed to make certain that FDA has the tools it needs to get the job done." The GMA wants the FDA to have a food-related budget of $900M in five years.
Presidential budgets are usually considered “dead on arrival.” This one has already been buried.
The President could have done much to improve his standing (legacy) by proposing a few more crumbs in an overall $3.1T budget for two of the biggest issues facing the U.S.: global warming and protecting the food supply from tainted junk from places like China.
Once again, the President falls way short. Congress has its work cut out.
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