Bush’s 2007 budget slashes funding for energy conservation

When President Bush said “America is addicted to oil,” we thought he meant that was a bad thing. Apparently not: Bush’s proposed 2007 budget increases funding for oil and gas drilling on public lands and slashes $100 million from some of the Energy Department’s most effective conservation programs. That includes a 30 percent cut to a program that helps poorer Americans weatherize their homes and install efficient heating and air-conditioning systems, and a 9 percent cut to the Energy Star program, which promotes energy-efficient products. Some initiatives authorized by last year’s energy bill — like a $90 million public-outreach campaign to increase energy conservation — go largely unfunded. But what about all that promised new research into alternative fuels? Oops: Bush’s proposed $381 million extra for renewable-energy development falls short of the spending approved in last year’s energy bill — and a fair bit of it is going to nukes. We believe the relevant term here is “enabler.”