The new budget “builds on the $36.7 billion in Recovery Act (stimulus) funding.” By the end of 2010, the budget statement said, that “the Department expects to obligate 100 percent and outlay roughly 35-40 percent of Recovery Act funds.” It listed Recovery Act money amounting to $16.8 in energy conservation and renewable energy sources, $6 billion in environmental management, $4 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and electric power transmission projects, $4.5 billion for grid modernization, $3.4 billion for “carbon capture and sequestration,” $1.6 billion for basic science research, and $0.4 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency. Supposedly this, among other things, will cut “dependence on foreign oil.” Maybe by a sliver.
Taking on an educational role, the Department also is proposing spending $55 million to support science and engineering education k-20, even though the U.S. Department of Education already spends $1 billion in science education. Some $400 million more in seemingly inexhaustible stimulus money will be added to $300 million for “breakthrough projects in high-risk research and development.” It is doubtful this would affect new job creation, considering the advanced nature and expertise demanded of the work.
Taxpayers could be saved $2 billion if the DOE would abandon its “FreedomCAR program.” It provides funding for research on fuel cell technology through a partnership between the federal government and private industry to put “greener” cars on the roadways. The private sector, however, is already doing this type of research. And let’s not forget Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s eagerness to have the homes and businesses around the world paint their roofs white to reflect the sun and save CO2-producing energy that he believes may cause climate change.
In September, President Obama sent to Congress the DOE’s budget, which included funds from the stimulus act to make a total of $31.2 billion, a 30 percent increase over 2009. The President, in yet another slap in the face of the fossil fuels industries, eliminated from the DOE $2.7 billion in tax subsidies for the coal, gas and oil industries.
World energy use is projected to grow by 49 percent between 2007 and 2035, according to the Energy Information Administration. “Renewables (rising from 10 percent to only 14 percent by 2035) are the fastest growing source of world energy supply, but fossil fuels are still set to meet more than three-fourths of total energy needs in 2035 assuming current policies are unchanged….Petroleum and other liquid fuels remain the largest energy source worldwide through 2035.”
So, The DOE budget “supports the President’s commitment to respond…to the challenges of rebuilding the economy, maintaining nuclear deterrence, securing nuclear materials, improving energy efficiency, incentivizing production of renewable energy, and curbing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.” But as for renewable energy sources, Energy Secretary Chu has to be saddened to know his Energy Information Administration calculates the energy from renewables will be only 12.4 percent of all energy by 2035, even less than in 2007.
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