Message from Congress to Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Ignore messages from Congress.

U.S._House_SealIn their latest broadside on DOE clean energy spending, 19 House Republicans are chastising Chu for suggesting that lawmakers have sent his agency “nearly 500 letters” urging the department to “accelerate” money for projects in their districts.

Those letters don’t mean lawmakers actually want DOE to spend money more quickly, write the 19 members, who include Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

DOE-Seal“It is common practice on Capitol Hill for members of Congress to submit letters of support to agencies to ensure that companies in a member’s district receive fair consideration for eligible federal funds regardless of the member’s level of support for that program,” the 19 lawmakers wrote in a letter dated March 2, 2012. But they added, “These letters should in no way give you or your staff the belief that members are specifically asking you to ‘accelerate’ taxpayer funds and push them out the door without proper oversight and due diligence.”

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Source: Darius Dixon | POLITICO
Image: U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Department of Energy