House appropriators are looking to gut the president's Energy Department budget request, and "construct a budget that provides a true all-of-the-above strategy," Republican energy and water appropriations subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson of Idaho said Tuesday.
Simpson said the agency's spending request is full of "spending gimmicks," and it is "unlikely that any of these gimmicks will be enacted," he told Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the agency's first appropriations hearing on Tuesday for the fiscal year 2017 budget.
The big problem in the budget, said Simpson, is the imbalance it creates between the president's Mission Innovation agenda, which looks to develop advanced technologies, and the cuts that the agency's funding request makes to fossil energy and nuclear programs.
Even with the $474 million increase in the budget request, Simpson said, the budget cuts fossil and nuclear energy that can help "secure our nation." Simpson added that under the department's proposed budget, "important activities will be drastically curtailed and hundreds of jobs could be curtailed if this committee does not budget for these funding needs."
"And while the Mission Innovation initiative claims to advance all clean energy solutions, even the most casual review of the budget indicates the new funding is intended almost entirely for [the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office]," Simpson said.