President Bush’s $24.3-billion budget for the Department of Energy remains a tiny part of the overall $2.9-trillion budget plan for 2008. the Detroit Free Press reports.
The proposed budget for the Department of Energy includes $42 million for developing batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles, a modest increase from last year’s $31-million request.
The administration’s request for vehicle efficiency research was $176 million, down $8 million from last year’s request. That research, part of the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, includes areas such as lightweight materials, better internal combustion engines and heavy vehicle efficiency.
Research for biofuels is slated to nearly double, to $179 million. The president also pledged $309 million for hydrogen-powered fuel cell research, the last payment of a five-year, $1.2-billion effort.
The budget includes no funding for geothermal technology or for hydropower research and development, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.
Bush’s proposal also trims funding for wind energy to $40 million, nearly a 10 percent drop from last year’s request. The 2008 request keeps funding levels stagnant for solar energy development: $148.3 million.
The coal industry would get a $100 million boost to $385 million next year to develop technology to capture hydrogen from coal-fired power plants and store carbon dioxide emissions.
The Office of Nuclear Energy would receive $875 million which includes $395 million for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative and other activities to support the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, Department of Energy reports. In addition, $10 million is provided to GNEP from the National Nuclear Security Administration to promote GNEP’s non-proliferation goals, for a total of $405 million for GNEP; and also supports Generation IV, Nuclear Power 2010, and the standby support, or risk insurance, called for in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to protect against unexpected delays of nuclear power plant construction and spur investments in emissions-free nuclear energy.
The budget would give a lift to investors such as Goldman Sachs, which has poured about $1 billion in the past year into ventures such as Horizon Wind Energy, Iogen Corp., and Sun Edison LLC, Bloomberg reports.
Archer Daniels Midland, the world’s biggest producer of ethanol from corn, VeraSun Energy, the second-biggest ethanol producer, and Pacific Ethanol, also would benefit.
The plan to turn more corn into fuel hurts Tyson Foods Inc., the world’s largest meatpacker, and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the world’s largest poultry processor, according to Bloomberg.
The Department of Energy’s offficial press release breaking down its budget requests:
U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today announced President Bush’s $24.3 billion budget request for the Department of Energy (DOE) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008. This request supports continued scientific discovery and the development of alternative energy sources that are vital to America’s energy and economic security. Funding priorities include investments to address growing demand for affordable, clean and reliable energy; further scientific discovery; continue the legacy waste environmental cleanup; and strengthen and maintain the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile while promoting global non-proliferation.
“Under President Bush’s leadership, this budget builds on our commitment to strengthen our nation’s energy security by diversifying our energy resources and reducing our reliance on foreign sources of energy. In addition, this budget will help us expand our nation’s scientific know-how, protect generations from the dangers of our Cold War legacy, and safely and reliably maintain our nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile,” Secretary Bodman said. “Thanks to the investments in this year’s budget, we will be able to meet the Department’s mission for today, as well as have a profound and lasting positive impact on our nation’s future.”
Among the President’s goals funded in the FY 2008 budget request include $179 million for the President’s Biofuels Initiative, an increase of $29 million (19 percent) compared to the 2007 budget request, to help achieve the President’s goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012. This will help reach President Bush’s goal to reduce U.S. consumption of gasoline by 20 percent in ten years. In addition, to increase our energy security, the FY 2008 budget includes $168 million to begin the doubling of our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to 1.5 billion barrels by 2027.
The budget also continues to significantly invest in the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) and the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), both of which were unveiled in President Bush’s 2006 State of the Union Address.
Accelerating the Advanced Energy Initiative
The FY 2008 budget request includes $2.7 billion, a 26 percent increase above the FY 2007 request of $2.1 billion, and 53 percent above FY 2006, to advance President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative. This initiative seeks to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy and transform the national energy economy by promoting the development of cleaner sources of electricity production. The FY 2008 request supports AEI goals to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies, such as biomass, hydrogen, and solar energy; clean coal technologies through FutureGen; and nuclear energy technologies, through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. These funds support a diverse portfolio of energy research, development, and commercialization programs designed to meet the energy challenges of the 21st century.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ($1.24 billion) budget includes significant funding increases for hydrogen technology, vehicle technology, biomass, and building technology programs. The Office of Fossil Energy ($863 million) supports research and development of low cost carbon sequestration technology for new and existing coal plants, the Clean Coal Power Initiative, and the FutureGen project, which will establish the capability and feasibility of co-producing electricity and hydrogen from coal with near-zero emissions for start-up in 2012.
The Office of Nuclear Energy ($875 million) includes $395 million for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative and other activities to support the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). (In addition, $10 million is provided to GNEP from the National Nuclear Security Administration to promote GNEP’s non-proliferation goals, for a total of $405 million for GNEP.); and also supports Generation IV, Nuclear Power 2010, and the standby support, or risk insurance, called for in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), to protect against unexpected delays of nuclear power plant construction and spur investments in emissions-free nuclear energy.
In addition, the Department’s FY 2008 requests $8.4 million to operate an Office of Loan Guarantees and the ability to expand DOE’s loan volume limitation to $9 billion. This funding will help spur the commercial development of new and novel clean energy technologies.
Advancing the American Competitiveness Initiative
The Department’s role in the American Competitiveness Initiative is funded through the DOE’s Office of Science and provides research investments to spur innovation and strengthen America’s competitive edge. The FY 2008 budget requests $4.4 billion, an increase of $300 million over FY 2007 requested levels and more than $800 million over FY 2006, to further basic research in the physical sciences and to carry out the large scale scientific demonstrations essential for leading global breakthroughs. This ambitious strategy represents President Bush’s commitment to double federal spending on science this decade and ensure that America will continue to lead the world in opportunity and innovation for generations to come.
Office of Science ($4.4 billion)
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest federal supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the nation and its $4.4 billion request will help ensure U.S. leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines. DOE’s Office of Science budget also incorporates $428 million in funding for basic research in nuclear fusion, including the international fusion energy experimental reactor agreement, known as ITER; $340 million for the Advanced Scientific Computing Research to sustain DOE’s position as world leader in civilian computing power; $158 million for operations of the Tevatron at Fermilab for collider and neutrino physics programs; and $146.5 million for operations of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider to provide an idea of conditions of the very early universe. DOE’s FY 2008 request includes $75 million for three innovative Bioenergy Research Centers to accelerate basic research in the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels and make biofuel production cost-effective on a national scale to meet the President’s goals.
National Nuclear Security Administration ($9.4 billion)
The FY 2008 National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) budget requests $9.4 billion, 39 percent of the Department’s budget, to promote national security through a combination that includes maintaining our nuclear weapons stockpile, advancing science, and promoting nuclear nonproliferation and threat reduction. The NNSA budget requests $6.5 billion for weapons activities to keep the nuclear weapons stockpile safe, secure and reliable through continued surveillance, assessment, and life extension programs. This includes the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program as a long-term strategy to maintain a safe, secure and credible nuclear deterrent.
The FY 2008 budget request maintains current commitments to the nuclear deterrence policies of the Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review through NNSA’s “Complex 2030”, the long-term strategy for effective transformation and modernization of the Cold War era weapons complex into one that is more efficient, smaller, and secure. To further nuclear nonproliferation activities, the FY 2008 request of $1.7 billion supports the international nuclear materials protection and cooperation programs that are denying terrorists the nuclear materials, technology and expertise needed to develop or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons. The budget includes a request of $334 million for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant project at DOE’s Savannah River Site that will dispose of 34 metric tons of U.S. surplus plutonium and facilitate complex-wide consolidation of nuclear material. The FY 2008 budget request also includes $162 million for NNSA to maintain its robust nuclear and radiation emergency response teams and capabilities.
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ($1.24 billion)
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy budget requests $1.24 billion, $60 million (5 percent) more than the FY 2007 request. Much of this funding is an integral part of the Advanced Energy Initiative and will help us achieve the President’s goal to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years. It also expands key programs that focus on developing new energy choices, including: vehicle efficiency technology ($176 million); biomass ($179 million), including research into cellulosic ethanol, made from switch grass, wood chips, and corn stalks; the Solar America Initiative ($148 million); hydrogen technology including fuel cell development ($213 million); and wind projects ($40 million).
Office of Nuclear Energy ($875 million)
The Office of Nuclear Energy FY 2008 budget requests $875 million, a $242 million (38 percent) increase over the FY 2007 request. In addition to the $395 million for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative in support of GNEP, the budget request includes Nuclear Power 2010 ($114 million), which will reduce barriers for light water reactor designs and deployment; and Generation IV ($36 million), which will focus funding on long-term research and development to support the Next Generation Nuclear Plant technology. The FY 2008 budget request supports implementation of the standby support, or risk insurance, program called for in EPAct, to protect against unexpected delays of nuclear power plant construction and spur investments in emissions-free nuclear energy.
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management ($495 million)
The Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management requests $495 million to further plan for operation of the safe, permanent, geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, $50 million below the FY 2007 request. The FY 2008 budget request sets DOE on a path to file a license application no later than June 30, 2008, continue the facility planning and safety design, make critical infrastructure upgrades at Yucca Mountain to ensure worker safety and operational efficiency, and build on national transportation planning activities.
Office of Fossil Energy ($863 million)
The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) FY 2008 budget requests $863 million, an increase of $214 million, or 33 percent above the FY 2007 request. The FY 2008 budget supports President Bush’s priorities to develop advanced clean coal technologies ($427 million) which includes FutureGen ($108 million), the public-private international partnership to build the world’s first coal-fired power plant that produces electricity and hydrogen with nearly zero-emissions; the Clean Coal Power Initiative ($73 million) to initiate, by or before 2010, demonstration of advanced coal-based power generation technologies; and coal research and development activities ($246 million). As part of the Administration’s effort to deploy clean energy technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the budget request includes $79 million in FY 2008 for sequestration work including four large scale field tests, which have the potential to store more than 600 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of more than 200 years of emissions from energy sources in the United States.
Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability ($115 million)
The FY 2008 Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) budget requests $115 million, a decrease of $10 million (8 percent) from the FY 2007 request. This request supports a variety of programs designed to modernize the electricity transmission and distribution system; and increase energy reliability, energy and system efficiency, and security. Within the request, the Department will focus $86 million on research and development (R&D) activities to strengthen grid stability, reduce frequency and duration of operational disruptions, and increase efficiencies. The budget request also supports implementation of EPAct requirements in transmission and energy corridor designation and coordination of Federal agency transmission line permitting. Additionally, this budget request supports OE energy emergency response capabilities to ensure energy assurance through federal, state, and local coordination.
Office of Health, Safety and Security ($428 million)
The Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) was created by Secretary Bodman last year to strengthen DOE’s health, safety, and security organization, which previously operated in separate offices within DOE. The new office requests $428 million for FY 2008, an increase of $20 million, or approximately 5 percent above the FY 2007 request for the combined activities of the former offices, to support its mission of ensuring the safety and health of the DOE workforce and members of the public and the protection of the environment in all DOE activities. HSS is responsible for policy development and technical assistance; safety analysis; corporate safety and security programs; education and training; complex-wide independent oversight; and enforcement.
Office of Environmental Management ($5.7 billion)
The FY 2008 Environmental Management budget requests $5.7 billion, $173 million below the FY 2007 request, primarily due to the completed clean-up of seven sites over the past two years, including the 1,050 acre Fernald site in January 2007. This budget request supports the Department’s efforts to complete clean-up of three additional sites in FY 2008 and continue clean-up progress across the complex with a focus on activities with the greatest risk reduction. The FY 2008 budget requests $690 million to continue safe construction of the Waste Treatment Plant at Hanford, which will stabilize high-level waste currently stored in tanks into a glass form for disposal.
Office of Legacy Management ($194 million)
The Office of Legacy Management FY 2008 budget requests $194 million, $7 million below the FY 2007 request, to support the long-term stewardship responsibilities where active remediation has been completed and payment of pensions and benefits for former contractor workers after site closure is needed. This budget request reflects the transfer of clean-up sites completed by the Office of Environmental Management.