Clean Energy in Obama’s 2013 Budget 0

President Obama released his 2013 budget today, saying:

“We must transform our economy from one focused on speculating, spending, and borrowing to one constructed on the solid foundation of educating, innovating, and building.

The Budget targets scarce federal resources to areas critical to growing the economy and restoring middle-class security: education and skills for American workers, innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure.

There are many innovative, practical provisions in the overall budget, but here are the ones that impact clean energy.

It eliminates many fossil fuel and agriculture subsides, and continues supporting renewable energy, efficiency and electric cars.

The Dept of Energy (DOE) budget would rise 3.2% to $27.2 billion and includes $2.3 billion for R&D in energy efficiency, advanced vehicles and biofuels, and $770 million for research on advanced
small nuclear reactors. It also includes $12 million for research on improving the safety of natural gas fracking.

DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (DARPA-E) would receive $350 million, and about $1 billion is budgeted Dept of Defense (DOD) energy efficiency investments, up from $400 million in 2010.

Including these provisions in DOD’s budget instead of DOE’s avoids harassment from the GOP related to Solyndra, while helping reduce consumption in DOD – the world’s largest energy consumer.

The Dept of Interior would receive $386 million for offshore oil and natural gas development, a $28 million increase. It would be used hire new inspectors, engineers and scientists to monitor
oil drilling, improve oil spill research, and review company oil spill response plans.

Among the provisions to “Jumpstart Job Creation” are energy efficiency measures:

  • $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 schools
  • Project Rebuild, a series of policies to help people get work in distressed communities by re-purposing residential      and commercial properties

Among the provisions for “American Innovation & Manufacturing:

  • Eliminate 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies, raising $41 billion over 10 years.
  • $140.8 billion for R&D overall, an increase of 5% from 2012 levels, would double the budgets of three key basic research agencies: National Science Foundation, DOE Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and      Technology Labs. Expands and makes permanent the R&D tax credit.
  • $2.2 billion for advanced manufacturing R&D, a 19% increase over 2012.
  • Provides tax incentives for manufacturers who create jobs in the US; doubles the deduction for advanced manufacturing; ends tax deductions for shipping jobs overseas; and establishes a Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit to encourage investment in communities affected by job loss.
  • Supports the goals of: putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015; doubling the share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035; and reducing buildings’     energy use by 20% by 2020.

Among the provisions for “Build America: A 21st Century Infrastructure:

  • National Infrastructure Bank to fund projects of national importance.
  • 6-year, $476 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill – expanded to included inter-city passenger rail

Fully paid for through current user-financed mechanisms and part of the savings from ending the war in Iraq and winding down operations in Afghanistan.

Read the full budget overview:


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