The AP reports–oops!
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn says he was unaware when he signed onto a letter to cut money for renewable energy that he was also targeting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.
Lamborn said he was asking that funds be pulled from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy grants and it was not intended as an attack on the lab that employs 2,300 workers.
About 90 percent of NREL’s funds come from those grants…
We talked about this letter last week–responsible for thousands of directly-created jobs and many millions of dollars in federal research funding coming into our state, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is more or less universally praised by Colorado public officials on both sides of the aisle–because to fail to do so would be very, very stupid politically.
Enter Doug Lamborn. The Denver paper’s Allison Sherry covers Lamborn’s attempted pullout from this disaster, which appears to have outraged local Republicans and Democrats alike. Apparently, Lamborn didn’t know that NREL gets 90% of its funding from the funds he wants to eliminate. Apparently, he wants NREL to keep going even if the funding that supports it is 90% zeroed out. And apparently, even though NREL is about renewable energy, not just “energy,” Lamborn thinks they can do what they do without picking “winners and losers” in, well, energy.
He’s an idiot, folks. There are some public officials for whom that statement should be sugar-coated or modified some polite way, but we really don’t see the point in this case. Don’t bother trying to extrapolate a coherent opinion from all of this, because it’s pretty clear to us that Lamborn never had one. He regurgitated spoon-fed talking points, and only belatedly realized that what he was saying was actually quite harmful to his own state.
So breathe that sigh of relief, sure, but…