U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Energy and Water Development, told Department of Energy contractors he was frustrated with the department's performance.
"(The Energy Department) was formed in the 1970s because of the energy crisis and our reliance on foreign energy sources," he was quoted by the Platts news service as saying. "We are more reliant on foreign energy sources today than we were before. Is that a success story? I don't know. I don't think so."
Simpson noted he wasn't particularly critical of the department but said he was frustrated with oscillating energy policies that come with new presidential administrations.
The House subcommittee last week backed an appropriations bill for 2012 that would cut nearly $6 billion from a $29.5 billion request from U.S. President Barack Obama.
"It is not that I don't see results, it is that I don't know what I'm looking for because I don't see an overall policy that has been developed by Congress so that I know that money spent on certain things are going toward achieving those overall results," he said.
Republicans have pressured the White House to tap more domestic energy resources such as oil and natural gas.