Lamborn Wants NREL Cut, Nevermind 5,500 Jobs

We didn’t get a chance to get to this on Friday, but it’s definitely worth mentioning still. As the Denver newspaper reported on Friday, Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is one of nine GOP House members who sent a letter on Thursday to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development asking that all funding be cut from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden.

That’s right — not a reduction in funding, but a complete elimination of funding. The letter was written by California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock. Among other things, the letter says, “We should not follow the president’s poor planning in increasing the funding for these anti-energy boondoggles.”

Yes, that sounds like a fantastic idea. We’re not sure how a Renewable Energy Laboratory could be “anti-energy,” but let’s just consider the economic consequences alone: NREL creates some 5,500 jobs and contributes $714 million annually to Colorado’s economy. The best way to fix an ailing economy is to, uh, eliminate money…going…into the economy?

Brilliant work, Lamborn. Brilliant.


37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    where you could scrape something stinky off your shoe, label it “R” and win.  

  2. abraham says:

    Perhaps Lamborn would support a trade to reduce wasteful spending.  Leave NREL alone but take a comparable cut out of Fort Carson.

    After all, a federal dollar is a federal dollar

  3. Ralphie says:

    It’s an easy stance for Lamborn to take.  NREL is in someone else’s district.

    Furthermore, as long as we’re dependent on foreign oil, oil companies can charge exorbitant prices.  And as long as we fight wars for foreign oil, the defense installations and contractors in Lamborn’s district do well.

    Defense and oil and gas were the leading contributors to Lamborn’s 2010 campaign.  See:

    Of course he wants to shut down NREL.  It’s a threat to his benefactors.

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    is rising:

    Top claim to fame-cutting $ for NPR

    Trying to eliminate fed $ when his district’s base community is getting many, many more fed $

    Recently an Unaffiliated candidate with Tea Puppet credentials announced her candidacy which might take some of the fruit loops

    But, this is totally nuts. Now he gets to fight with Perlmutter. Hope I get to see that on CSpan  

  5. MADCO says:

    Huge gov’t spending at Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and all around CD5 : Good.

    Got it.

  6. Canines says:

    where the sun don’t shine.

  7. Automaticftp says:

    he’s a complete idiot.  

    • reubenesp says:

      NREL = “anti-energy boondoggles.” ??

      Sounds like something the Saudi oil minister would say.

      • Colorado Pols says:

        If you don’t like NREL or think it is worthwhile, then fine. But it really makes no sense whatsoever to say that a Renewable Energy Laboratory is “anti-energy.” That’s like calling the IRS “anti-taxes.”

        • BlueCat says:

          that they really want to make sure the economy and jobs situation stays dire and gas prices high between now and 2012 election.  Probably why their “jobs jobs jobs” mantra stops when it comes to actually proposing any legislation to help create jobs.  All they’ve got for that is the old tax cut trickle down that has been running concurrently with job loss for a decade. Instead of jobs, it’s abortion, DOMA, the ever popular”they want to take your guns”, union busting and, what’s the one they can’t get off the gound? Nasty Dem “mediscare” tactics?  And how does any of this address jobs?

          • WitnessProtectionForGeeks says:

            Lower taxes to 25% for rich people and allow corporations to repatriate profits made by offshoring operations.


            I have myself on Bonner’s list and that is what the GOP is proposing very explicitly when they are talking to R audiences.

            I haven’t decided if the GOP is full of Nihilists or idiots or Nihilists controlling idiots or Nihilists acting like idiots, but it pretty much has to be one of these.

            • BlueCat says:

              while also railing against any regulations to prevent..ummm… any possible further need for bailouts.  Guess the no more bail outs for those lousy bankers is for the Tea Party types with the IQ it takes to carry signs that say  “Keep Your Government Hands of my Medicare” and the no regulations is for the corporate bosses. Hope Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Florida etc. are the beginning of implosion due to inability to be all things to the corporate masters and the loonies of various fringes.  

  8. ClubTwitty says:

    So Rev. Camper was off by a few weeks/months/years…

    What does it matter?  

    Alternative energy is clearly Satan’s plot to deprive us of God’s warming blanket of greenhouse gas.  

    If the good Lord did not want us to separate tar from sands, he wouldn’t have mingled them so thoroughly and buried them hundreds of feet underground!  

    Hydro-fracking is proof of His love for us.

    Had God had an eight day he would have put more cracks in the rocks himself!!!   Why should We (as in the ‘The People’) spend money on developing new technologies?

    When has that ever created new tools, products, spin offs, and private industry?  

  9. Middle of the Road says:

    but I’m really starting to believe that the Republicans are proposing this sort of thing intentionally, to tank the economy as much as possible in order to win the 2012 election. The worse shape the economy is in, the better chance they have of picking off Obama.

    Like I said, conspiracy theory but I can’t come up with a better explanation for wiping out $700 million and 5,000 jobs in a state you supposedly represent.  

  10. jaytee says:

    There’s nothing real in this. It’s just Lamborn playing at “far right” politician. Just like the “cut off NPR” baloney, this is not real legislation. It won’t pass but he’ll get to appear on Fox and talk about “picking winners and losers” in the same childish way his supporters do without any nod to the decades of govt boosts given to oil and gas. He doesn’t know anything about NREL. He’s a child in an ugly man’s body.  

  11. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    That’ll make a nice campaign piece–“Defended 5,000 local jobs from Republican job-killing attempt.”

  12. americus says:

    Elizabeth Kolbert closes her book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, with a line that captures where these fools would lead us: “It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.”

  13. Ray Springfield says:

    will be in charge during my life time. I suppose record profits on gouging the public on gas isn’t enough for some pols.

  14. DavidThi808 says:

    Everyone talks about the jobs and money it brings to Colorado. But the real question should be is it a good investment for federal dollars. I’m assuming it is a good investment – and that is what people should be trumpting.  

    • Ralphie says:

      and set up a tour.  See what they are working on.  Write it up for your site.  It’s a pretty impressive place with pretty impressive people.  If nothing else, it’s good for the gene pool.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Mostly they complain about what a bureaucratic mess it is and how nothing ever seems to get done there. However, that seems to be the standard complaint at all government labs…

        • But NREL has helped with programs to significantly boost the efficiency of solar cells, worked on ocean thermal transfer technology, increased wind farm efficiencies, worked on biofuel conversion technologies.  In other words, it’s done good solid work.

          I think the thing that pisses me off most about NREL research is that they’re only a research incubator.  Once the technology study is done, it seems there’s never any money to actually help it to market, and there doesn’t seem to be much of an investment market in incubating alternative energy technologies to production capacity.

    • ajb says:

      $4-billion to create.

      $20-billion to fill.

  15. Awen says:

    I chatted with Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, yesterday about this; he was none too pleased about what Lamborn is doing.

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