Obama budget plan ups renewables funding by 29 percent

By Anna Austin | February 14, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama has sent to Congress his federal budget for fiscal year 2013 and has seemingly followed through on his verbal commitments to renewable energy delivered in his Jan. 24 State of the Union Address.

Also as promised, Obama has begun attempts to pull the rug from beneath the feet of big fossil fuel, with a repeal of 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies to raise $41 billion over 10 years. At the same time, the $3.8 trillion budget proposal increases 2013 renewable energy funds by 29 percent compared to 2012.  

In the budget proposal, the U.S. DOE is allotted $27.2 billion, $2.3 billion of which is slated for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for energy efficient research and development, biofuels, advanced vehicles and renewable electricity generation. While the DOE budget increases by more than 3 percent from 2012, the USDA budget decreases by 3 percent, to $23 billion in discretionary funding. Out of that, Obama has proposed $6.1 billion in loans to rural electric cooperatives and utilities that will support clean energy, and to promote renewable energy at electric generation, transmission, and distribution sites in rural communities.

In addition, through the Rural Energy for America Program, the plan provides $19 million in assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of projects, including renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy development. More than $200 million is proposed to continue support for the development of domestically produced advanced biofuels.

To access budget documents, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget