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U.S. Taxpayers on the Hook As Obama Joins a New International Renewable Energy Agency

From sea to shining sea is the goal. Meanwhile, in a more immediate crisis, oil prices continue to rise.

Patrick Goodenough|CNSNews

At a time when congressional Republicans are looking for ways to reduce U.S. funding to the United Nations, the Obama administration has formalized its membership in a new international body – and American taxpayers will provide more than one-fifth of its budget.

The administration on Friday deposited its instrument of acceptance to join the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), State Department spokesman Philip Crowley announced.

After joining in June 2009, the U.S. now becomes the 63rd fully ratified member of IRENA, a European-inspired initiative set up in 2009 to promote renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar power.

Although IRENA is not currently a U.N. agency, becoming one is a goal for some of its proponents, and members’ contributions are calculated according to the same formula used to fund the U.N.

The U.S. therefore will provide 22 percent of IRENA’s budget.

In its fiscal 2012 budget request for international programs, the administration has asked for $5.2 million for IRENA.

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