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Rep. Lamborn backs bid to unplug National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden  

Credit:  Denver Post staff and wire reports, www.denverpost.com 4 June 2011 ~~

Colorado congressman Doug Lamborn is one of nine House members asking that funds be yanked from programs that finance the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

The request by the Republican from Colorado Springs and others was sent Thursday to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

The lawmakers ask that funding in the 2012 budget be eliminated for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs because they “have failed to live up to their supposed potential.”

The programs fund NREL.

Lamborn’s spokeswoman, Catherine Mortensen, said the lawmaker was traveling and unavailable to comment further Friday. She confirmed Lamborn had signed the letter.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who represents the district in which the national lab is located, has said the facility generates 5,500 jobs.

“NREL is a crown jewel in the world of renewable energy,” said Les lie Oliver, a spokeswoman for Perl mutter. “It’s providing a lot of jobs; those are things we need to be fostering.”

According to an analysis by the University of Colorado, the lab provides a $714 million annual boost to the state’s economy.

Eliminating the funding probably would face a tough fight in the Democratic-controlled Senate and with President Barack Obama, a renewable-energy proponent.

Just last month, Vice President Joe Biden visited the lab, stressing the administration’s commitment to science and renewable energy, and commending the Colorado lab for research that already was leading to innovative energy solutions.

Bob Noun, a spokesman for the lab, said NREL is proud of its accomplishments.

“We feel the nation has gotten a very good return on its investment with us,” Noun said. “We recognize the impulse is to cut budgets to reduce deficits, but this is the beginning of a long process to decide on the budget for that department. Obviously, any cuts to that budget are of concern to the lab.”

The letter, written by California U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, says: “We should not follow the president’s poor planning in increasing the funding for these anti-energy boondoggles.”

Staff writer Yesenia Robles and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source:  Denver Post staff and wire reports, www.denverpost.com 4 June 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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