Fiscal year 2013 energy department budget: Proposed investments in clean energy research



Energy and environmental research programs generally fared well in President Barack Obama's proposed budget for the Department of Energy (DOE) for fiscal year (FY) 2013. In his State of the Union address, Obama called for the United States to pursue an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes fossil fuels, as well as a variety of renewable sources of energy. The DOE budget request supports that strategy, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a 13 February press briefing announcing the budget proposal. The proposed budget gives DOE $27.2 billion overall, a 3.2% increase from the FY 2012 enacted budget (see Table 1). This budget “reflects some tough choices,” Chu said. The proposed budget would cut $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies; many Republican members of Congress have already indicated that they oppose such cuts, suggesting that congressional approval of this budget may run into stumbling blocks. The budget would also cut funding for research and development projects that are already attracting private-sector investment or that are not working, and would reduce some of the department's operational costs.