WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- A Republican lawmaker said market forces should drive the race toward a greener economy after Washington's budget for renewable energy was slashed.
A House Appropriations Energy and Water subcommittee last week moved a bill onto the full committee that cuts renewable energy funding by 27 percent, or roughly $1.9 billion less than what U.S. President Barack Obama requested.
Obama said in his State of the Union address in January that stimulating a low-carbon future would help overall economic recovery.
U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., was quoted by Washington newspaper The Hill as saying a green economy was more than just a political issue, however.
"We can debate whether renewable energy is an environmental program and whether it is a market problem," he said. "In either case, it is a national security problem."
But Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, told The Hill that the private sector needs to lead the green economic race.
"If renewables are to grow, it is because there will be a profit incentive, not because the government spends money," he said.