Democrats decry cuts to energy statistics agency

“How does it benefit us to force the EIA to stop collecting information on oil and gasoline proven reserves and prices; to curtail its analyses of the linkages between financial and physical energy markets; or to end its review and analysis of international energy trends? These cuts just make it that much more difficult to chart a national energy policy that addresses real challenges,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said in a statement Friday.

Bingaman urged lawmakers to avoid major cuts to agencies like the EIA in the fiscal 2012 spending bill.

“Congress will need to do a better job of protecting the federal programs, like the Energy Information Administration, that are crucial to our understanding what is actually going on with energy supplies, energy demand and energy markets,” Bingaman said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to restore full funding to the EIA.

“[I]t is vital that we have timely, reliable, transparent and unbiased information on the relationship between energy and the U.S. economy. We must make our decisions using the best facts and evidence, not ideology,” Holt said in a letter to Boehner on Friday.

President Obama signed the spending bill into law this month after high-stakes negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.