How to Cut a Quick $29.5 Billion from the 2012 Budget

February/17/2011 18:25PM
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Here’s the Department of Energy budget for fiscal year 2012. If we did a cost-benefit analysis for the past 20 years of the DOE budgets, we would find they accomplished nothing. Based on zero results, why fund the DOE at all?

Keep the loan guarantees in here for the building of new nuclear plants and can the rest. Simply scrap the DOE since they have been ineffective since inception. Read the lofty goals. They have been the same since the DOE was begun. In that period, our dependence on foreign crude has gone from 35% to over 70%. Do you really believe any of these goals will be met? Why keep throwing money down a rat hole? Just shut it down like all the businesses the DOE has funded have done. Stop chasing academic dreams. Leave the energy research to the private sector.

After all, the private sector found a way to get at all the natural gas in the US by fracking. It’s the only energy breakthrough in the past 20 years and will help save our bacon down the road.

February 14, 2011

President’s Energy Budget Invests in Innovation, Clean Energy, and National Security Priorities
DOE also making tough budget choices and instituting management reform efforts to save taxpayer money

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today detailed President Barack Obama’s $29.5 billion Fiscal Year 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy, emphasizing that it is part of an Administration-wide plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world. At the same time, the FY 2012 makes tough choices, cutting programs and expenses to underscore the Administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice.

“The United States faces a choice today: will we lead in innovation and out-compete the rest of the world or will we fall behind? To lead the world in clean energy, we must act now. We can’t afford not to. Through our investments, we are laying the groundwork for the nation’s future prosperity and security,” said Secretary Chu. “While we are investing in areas that are critical to our future, we are also rooting out programs that aren’t needed and making hard choices to tighten our belt. Additionally, we are improving our management and operations so we function more efficiently and effectively.”

Specifically the President’s FY 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy:

•Puts the nation on the path to reach a bold but achievable goal of generating 80 percent of America’s electricity from clean sources by 2035 as called for by the President.
•Supports groundbreaking basic science, research and innovation to solve our energy challenges and ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of science and technology.
•Leads in the development and deployment of clean and efficient energy technologies to reduce our dependence on oil, accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and promote economic competitiveness; and
•Strengthens national security by reducing nuclear dangers, maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and cleaning up our Cold War nuclear legacy.
•Advances responsible environmental management by cleaning up hazardous, radioactive legacy waste from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.
Some highlights in the FY 2012 budget include:

•$3.2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, because investing in clean energy will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs here at home.
•Promoting renewable energy and energy efficient projects with $300 million in credit subsidies to support approximately $3-4 billion in projects.
•$36 billion in loan guarantee authority to help jumpstart the domestic nuclear industry, as well as additional investments in the research and development of advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors. Combined with existing authority, the additional loan guarantee authority will support 6 to 8 nuclear power projects, which will result in the construction of anywhere from 9 to 13 new reactors.
•To spur innovation, the President’s budget request invests in basic and applied research and keeps us on the path to doubling funding for key science agencies, including the Department’s Office of Science.
•$5.4 billion for the Office of Science to expand our investment in basic energy sciences, advanced scientific computing and biological and environmental sciences – all key areas for our future economic competitiveness.
•$550 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to continue support for the promising early-stage research projects that could deliver game-changing clean energy technologies.
•$146 million to support the three existing Energy Innovation Hubs and to establish three new Hubs in the areas of batteries and energy storage; smart grid technologies and systems; and critical materials. Through the Hubs, we are bringing together our nation’s top scientists and engineers to work over a longer time frame to achieve a specific goal.
•$100 million to continue supporting 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers started in 2009.
•A five-year FY 12 to FY 16 request of nearly $65 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) reflects the President’s nuclear security priorities, as well as his commitment to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons enterprise and sustain a strong nuclear deterrent for the duration of the New START Treaty and beyond.
•To support the President’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material around the world in four years, the budget invests $2.5 billion in the NNSA Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program. This is part of a five-year, $14.2 billion commitment for the program.
In developing this budget, several program reductions and terminations are proposed, further demonstrating the Obama Administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. The Department also continues to make progress on a management excellence agenda to improve our operations.

They include:

•In the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE reduced funding for the hydrogen technology program by more than 40 percent, or nearly $70 million in order to focus on technologies deployable at large scale in the near term.
•In January, DOE decided that it would end operation of the Tevatron, at the Fermi National Laboratory, rather than extend them through FY 2014. It is projected this decision will save the Department $35 million for FY 2012.
•DOE has reduced the budget for the Fossil Energy Office by 45 percent, or $418 million. This includes zeroing out the Fuels Program, the Fuel Cells Program, the Oil and Gas Research and Development Program, and the Unconventional Fossil Technology Program.
•The proposal to repeal a number of subsidies and tax preferences available for fossil fuels. Repeal of these subsidies and preferences will save the taxpayer approximately $3.6 billion in FY 2012.
•The Department is reducing administrative expenses across all programs in the FY 2012 budget from FY 2010 levels.
In the FY 12 budget request, the Department was able to reduce the cost of its corporate management by nearly 13 percent, cutting nearly $45 million from its budget. Some of these spending reductions came from:

•Office of the Secretary: 14 percent reduction;
•Office of the Chief Financial Officer: 16 percent reduction;
•Office of the Chief Information Officer: 17 percent reduction ;
•Office of Human Capital Management: 22 percent reduction;
•Office of Public Affairs: 16 percent reduction

Media contact(s):

(202) 586-4940

Doug Gordon says:
February 18, 2011 at 9:21 am (Edit)
Yeah, I say zero it out too.

I was actually shocked when I was reading my Chemical and Engineering News magazine this week, big article entitled: “Race To The Pump” in the February 14th issue.

End of the article has quotations from two ACADEMIC scientists, Huber at U Mass Amherst, Mascal at UC Davis. Here’s what they say about the processes for producing alternative fuels…

“‘We are in a commodity market,’ Huber says. ‘At some point, it is going to be a function of economies of scale. There are lots of biofuel technologies being developed, and all of them are achievable. There needs to be some policy to help drive their development. But it has to be done in a way that is technology agnostic, that doesn’t favor one technology over another. There will be winners and losers, but LET’S LET THE MARKET DECIDE, NOT THE POLITICIANS…’” (emphasis added)

“‘When the smoke clears, I think there will be a few technologies left standing,’ Mascal agrees. ‘They will be the ones that can be done cheaply and in which feedstock supplies and their transportation aren’t an issue, capital and operating expenses aren’t prohibitive, and you get a product with a ready or emerging market. The more esoteric methods will be history in the literature.

I guess even some academics get it that the government should not be the entity picking the winners, astounding!

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