In a column in the June 25 Statesman titled “Going the wrong way on energy innovation,” Todd Allen tells us Idaho will lose 1,000 scientists’ jobs and have to close down energy research work of our three universities if the Trump budget becomes law. Allen’s solution is a familiar one: write your congressional delegation. That’s a good enough idea but, in truth, it is Mike Simpson who will turn back Trump’s draconian cuts to the Idaho National Laboratory, if anyone can.
Voters have become dismissive of how representatives actually benefit their constituents. Political ideology is more important than, say, jobs created or education funds protected. Thinking about bridges to nowhere and other scandals there’s something healthy about this attitude. But a 36 percent cut to energy research and development is economic suicide for our country and will only benefit Chinese and European challengers.
Simpson chairs the sub-committee of House Appropriations which approves the federal budget for energy and water. He, as much as anyone, has stabilized one of the largest employers in Idaho, the INL, and given it new missions, such as cyber-security. Can you think of anything more important today?
Simpson will greatly improve the budget whether you write him or not. But write him anyway. He will likely be chairman through 2020.
Jerry Brady, Boise