Friday, February 27, 2009

Lookin' Good: Obama Releases Budget, Significant Funds for Energy

This has been an exciting few weeks for energy: The stimulus bill had a mix of funding for renewables and efficiency, proven technologies and emerging ones. And maybe you got just as excited as I did when Obama said in his pseudo-State of the Union: "...I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America."

To complete the trifecta, Obama released his
proposed $3.55 trillion budget yesterday. It's got significant funding to address the energy problem, both in terms of expanding homegrown, secure energy sources, building up our renewables capacity, and making our existing infrastructure more efficient. Here's the
latest:
  • Includes $15 billion per year for renewable energy programs
  • Proposes a five-year, $5 billion high-speed rail state grant program
  • Uses money from a cap-and-trade program to pay for middle-class tax cuts and further investments in renewables
  • Investments in R&D and demonstration of smart grid technologies (i.e. a more efficient transmission system)
  • Investments in carbon capture and sequestration projects (sometimes called "advanced coal technologies")
  • Funds for the development of space-based research sensors for climate monitoring
  • Creates a new Energy Innovation Fund to support an energy-efficient housing market — including retrofits of older, inefficient homes
Cries of over-spending have already come up from some camps. But spending on energy addresses the vital issues we can all agree on: Cutting our reliance on foreign sources of energy, securing our energy supply, making our energy more efficient and clean, and growing a new sector of our economy.

via the Washington Times, Earth2Tech.com and AFP

2 comments:

The Intellectual Redneck said...

Taxing the rich at 100% won't pay for Obama's budget. The Wall Street Journal has reported that taxing the rich at 100% won't pay for Obama's budget. Barack Obama promised not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 per year. Where is he going to get the money? The numbers indicate Obama will need to take 100% of the income of everyone making over $75,000.

Maria Surma Manka said...

Great question, Intellectual Redneck. Tax increases on the rich and money from the proposed cap-and-trade program are a few ways Obama wants to pay for the programs. But he also assumes better economic growth in the next few years than economists have...so I highly doubt we're going to see this exact budget draft passed, but the energy priorities set forth will help put America on the right track.