President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal on Monday, calling for nearly $4 trillion in federal spending.
The budget accentuated the administration’s focus on climate change and clean energy technologies, including $7.4 billion in research and development funding for clean energy and climate science across different agencies and another $239 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at power plant carbon emissions reduction. The plan mandates that the nation’s fleet of existing power plants cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. Also included in the budget is $4 billion in incentives for states that reduce carbon emissions in excess of the EPA’s proposed levels.
According to the budget the Departments of Energy, Defense and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation are the largest funders of clean energy technology programs, with Energy Department providing about 75 percent of the total government-wide funding. The department’s clean energy technology investments include “$900 million for programs and infrastructure that support the advancement of nuclear energy technologies, including R&D in advanced nuclear reactor technologies, life extension for existing power plants, and innovative fuel-cycle concepts.”
The requested $2 billion increase in funding for the Energy Department will be difficult to pass through the Republican-controlled Congress, but according to The Hill, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said that “We are prepared to defend this budget.”