Friday, February 27, 2009

Green Boost: Obama's Energy Budget

The Associated Press is reporting on Obama's proposed 2010 budget changes ....

Energy budget promotes 'green' projects

Government Agency: Energy

2010 proposal: $26.3 billion

Change from 2009 estimate: 0.4 percent decrease

Highlights: A dramatic shift away from support for fossil fuels to new "green" energy is at the core of Obama's first proposed budget.

The Energy Department's spending plan would pay for "significant increases in basic research" into developing clean and renewable energy including solar, wind and geothermal sources, and to make motor fuel from plants.

Overall spending for the department would change little from what Congress is providing now, but would be about 5 percent higher than what President George Bush proposed a year ago. Compared to the Bush budget, it proposes a major redirection of spending to reflect Obama's strong support for renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.

While the budget summary provides few specific numbers, it would pump more money into:
  • Creating a "smart" electric transmission grid.

  • Loan guarantees to bring solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources to market.

  • Determining commercial viability of capturing carbon from coal-burning power plants.

  • Helping low-income families improve the energy efficiency of their homes, a program the Bush administration wanted to eliminate.

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