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Byrne rails against government propping up ‘green’ energy firms with taxpayer dollars

Posted on May 4th, 2015

WASHINGTON — Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL1) made an impassioned plea on the House floor for the Department of Energy to abandon its Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program, which appropriates more than $1.6 billion to subsidize renewable energy while creating punitive regulations on the coal industry.

Though the amendment to cut the program was ultimately not adopted, the congressman’s speech caused a stir.

“The government should not be in the business of subsidizing the research and development initiatives of individual companies,” Byrne remarked. “Let’s be clear: competition and innovation have been key aspects of private sector success in our country from day one and the government should not take the role of a private investor.”

Cutting the EERE has long had the support of conservative groups and think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, which included the program on its list of 106 ways to reduce the size and scope of government.

Byrne said that constructing an “all of the above” energy policy is laudable, but the EERE has been used to pick and choose winners, often at the expense of American jobs in the coal industry.

“Ultimately,” Byrne said, “the American people are sick and tired of a federal government that continues to recklessly spend taxpayer dollars. They want to see Congress make the tough choices and rein in wasteful spending.”

Watch Congressman Byrne’s entire speech in the video above.