Doug Lamborn retreats as the National Renewable Energy Lab touts its achievements

Call it a big fat coincidence, but days after Rep. Doug Lamborn backed off his efforts to cut funding for renewable energy research, Golden's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has unveiled a colorful online magazine promoting the practical applications of its work.

Now Lamborn can read about all the alleged boondoggles he was itching to ax -- like cheaper solar cells, more efficient wind turbines and new systems to power military vehicles.

Earlier this month, Lamborn signed on with a group of pennywise Republicans seeking to yank federal funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy grants, which Lamborn described as "a sinkhole for tax dollars, funding ideologically pleasing projects" that really should be left up to the private sector. When it was pointed out that NREL gets most of its funding from the grants and the cuts would cost hundreds of Colorado jobs, Lamborn said he didn't mean to target the lab and merely wanted to stimulate discussion about just how far the government should get into the renewable energy business.

Judging from all the government support involved in tax breaks and subsidies for everything from oil shale research to ethanol, it's clear the feds are also rather deep in the fossil fuel business. But now, Lamborn can learn more about what NREL actually does, thanks to the lab's spanking new Continuum magazine. The Spring 2011 issue reports on how lab developments in wind and solar are helping to move those technologies more quickly to "utility-scale" operations.

Happy reading, Congressman.

More from our Kenny Be/Comics archive: "Doug Lamborn wants to trash PBS and NPR: Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario."

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
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