Congressional vote may help prevent additional wind energy layoffs in Colorado
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Surprisingly, and in part because of the persistence of Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the wind energy production tax credit made it through the federal budget fiasco, gaining approval for a one-year extension that could help protect Colorado’s burgeoning renewable energy industry.
After giving 27 speeches on the Senate floor in support of the tax credit, Udall said the extension gives manufacturers in Colorado and throughout North America the signal they need to create jobs, make capital investments in the United States, and ensure that wind energy remains a strong part of our national energy strategy, although a one-year extension isn’t likely to spur significant long-term investments.
BLM will work with local stakeholders to identify parcels for potential wilderness designations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Under harsh fire from congressional Republicans, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week rescinded a plan to identify and designate wild lands on Bureau of Land Management territory. The continuing budget resolution passed by Congress made the plan moot in any case by stripping the Interior Department of any funding to carry out the plan.
Conservative western lawmakers characterized the proposal as yet another federal land grab and charged that the Interior Department doesn’t have the resources to adequately manage the acreage it already controls.
Report shows lack of fiscal accountability, overlap in many government agencies
By Orrin Hatch and Mark Udall
During the last election, Americans spoke loud and clear. Regardless of the political party they belong to, they want Congress focused on the economy, and they want us to work together to get our nation’s fiscal house in order.
Specifically, they want Congress and the President to focus on reining in federal spending. We face a $14 trillion debt, and every day we wait to take responsible steps to control spending, we leave our fiscal situation less sustainable for the future. The markets are demanding immediate action. Just last week, Standard & Poor’s placed the United States’ AAA bond rating on a negative outlook, citing a greater than one in three chance of a downgrade within the next two years.
While there are plenty of areas where we disagree when it comes to the federal budget, we agree that it’s time for immediate reductions in government spending. We need to take action now, and a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) offers a constructive suggestion for where to start. This eye-opening study identifies multiple overlapping federal government programs that, if consolidated or cut, could dramatically reduce administrative and overhead costs, among other savings. The duplicative programs span a range of federal government agencies from domestic food assistance and education to homeland security and defense. For example:
∙ Over 20 federal programs address homelessness, spanning seven federal agencies, including the departments of education, health and human services, labor and veterans affairs.
∙ At least 44 programs run by the departments of education, health and human services, and labor provide employment and training services.
∙ There are 80 economic development programs at four agencies, 52 of which have authority to fund “entrepreneurial efforts.”
∙ More than two dozen individuals appointed by the president are responsible for biodefense.
∙ And 15 agencies are involved in food safety – a costly overlap that GAO says has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination and an inefficient use of resources. Continue reading “Op-ed: Bipartisan agreement on government waste?”→