Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has thrust Ryan’s controversial budget proposals into the national spotlight. On the campaign trail, candidates are being asked about the Ryan budget. Unfortunately for voters, some candidates, like New Mexico Senate candidate Heather Wilson, refuse to come clean about where they stand on this proposal to dramatically shrink the federal government and change or eliminate popular programs – including many that support clean energy investment.
That’s right. While the press has understandably focused on the Ryan budget’s impact on Medicare, the Ryan budget would decimate other critical government initiatives as well. Just one example – the Ryan budget would eliminateour nation’s investment in clean energy and kill a lot of clean energy jobs in the process.
According to an analysis by Congressman Henry Waxman, the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Ryan budget “would cut billions of dollars in funding for development of clean energy and eliminate programs that have helped support over 60,000 jobs.” Waxman’s analysis finds that:
- The Ryan budget would cut the Department of Energy’s budget by 57%. Cuts of this magnitude would cripple efforts to improve energy efficiency and make renewable energy commercially available at a competitive cost;
- The Ryan budget would eliminate successful clean vehicle loan programs. These programs are helping the U.S. become a leader in plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies and creating jobs in the auto industry; and
- The Ryan budget would eliminate clean energy loan guarantees that are helping to launch large-scale wind and solar energy projects.
On top of these cuts to clean energy, the Ryan budget preserves nearly $40 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
Where does Wilson stand on this? We don’t know. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Wilson “has refused for two consecutive years to take a definitive stand on Ryan’s controversial budget blueprints.”
We don’t know whether she and Ryan share the same view on his budget, but we do know that many of the same Big Polluters are funding both campaigns. Over the course of her political career, Wilson has taken $741,132 from the oil and gas industry, making her one of the top-20 recipients of oil and gas money to serve in the House of Representatives. Ryan’s still-hefty haul of $244,250 may pale in comparison, but he takes another prize: Koch Industries’ $65,000 in donations make them his largest energy-related donor.
We know where Wilson’s Dirty Energy donors stand on the Ryan budget. It’s time for Wilson to tell us whether or not she agrees with them.