What's in President Obama's Budget?

President Obama released his proposed fiscal 2014 budget (which begins October 1), giving us a clearer idea of what his priorities are for expansion and for cutting. 

Overall, the $1.058 trillion budget would reduce the deficit to  $744 billion.

In terms of energy and environment, cleantech spending got a 40% boost, one of the few areas to significantly grow.

"These increases in funding are significant and a testament to the importance of clean energy and innovation to the country’s economic future," says the administration in the budget.

It would end about $4 billion in tax giveaways to fossil fuel companies and another $91 billion in tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the industry.

Department of Energy (DOE)

DOE gets an 8% raise to $28.4 billion.

Goals are: doubling American energy productivity by 2030 and establishing a $2 billion Energy Security Trust. It creates "Race to the Top" competitions on Energy Efficiency and Grid Modernization.  

 "As we continue to pursue clean energy technologies that will support future economic growth, we should not devote
scarce resources to subsidizing the use of fossil fuels produced by some of the largest, most profitable companies in the world," the budget proposal says.  

  • $615 million to increase use and decrease costs of solar, wind, geothermal, and water energy, a 29% increase;
  • $575 million for cutting-edge vehicle technologies research, an increase of 75%;
  • $282 million for advanced biofuels research, a 24% increase;
  • $365 million for advanced manufacturing R&D to strengthen US competiveness and enable companies to improve product quality and manufacturing processes while cutting production costs;
  • $16 million to enhance energy infrastructure security and energy recovery capabilities; 
  • $147 million in R&D for smart grid, cybersecurity for energy control systems, and permitting, sitting, and analysis activities within the Office of Electricity
    Delivery and Energy Reliability; and
  • $80 million for advanced technologies and tools that improve clean energy integration into the grid. 

Department of Interior (DOI)

DOI gets $10.9 billion, a 5% increase from 2012. Most of the increase would come from higher royalties on conventional energy production.

  • $771.6 million for domestic energy development in 
    conventional and renewable energy, a $97.5 million raise. 
  • $29.1 million for onshore renewable energy programs administered by Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • $34.4 million for offshore renewable energy managed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
  • $36.4 million in four other Interior agencies will be used for their renewable energy programs.

The U.S. Geological Survey gets $1.2 billion to support  development of domestic energy, protect critical water resources, respond to natural disasters and advance climate change adaptation strategies.

$776.9 million is for Wildland Fire Management, a rapidly increasing cost fueled by climate change.  program is $776.9 million.

Here are more details. 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA gets $252 million more than this year for a total $8.15 billion, but that’s still 3.5% lower than 2012. 

About $176 million is targeted at greenhouse gas emissions and their impact, which includes Energy Star, Global Methane Initiative, GHG reporting rule and partnership programs like SmartWay.

$1.3 billion to continue efforts to restore significant ecosystems such as Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast and for cleanup, such as Superfund sites and underground leaks from storage tanks.

$686.2 million to manage potential risks of chemicals entering commerce.

$20 million is for research to understand the impacts of climate change on human health and vulnerable ecosystems.

On the cutting block are two important programs: a loan fund that cities and states use to build clean water and sewage treatment infrastructure, cut $472 million, and funds that provides grants to reduce emissions from diesel engines, cut from $30 million in 2012 to $6 million.

Here are more details.

Transportation (DOT)

DOT gets $76 billion, $4 billion more than 2012. 

It calls for Congress to approve $50 billion in immediate spending on US highways and $40 billion on long-distance rail. 

$200 million for communities to increase resilience to climate change would be part of a $10 billion plan to spur state and local "innovation" in infrastructure development.

Here is the Overview of Obama’s full budget:

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