President Barack Obama has announced his fiscal-year 2015 budget proposal, which seeks to provide billions of dollars for clean energy and reiterates the president's call for a permanent production tax credit (PTC) and the elimination of $4 billion in fossil-fuel subsidies.
The proposed budget would provide multiple federal agencies with funding to further spur renewable energy development in the country. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would receive approximately $5.2 billion.
According to a White House fact sheet, this DOE funding would include over $900 million in basic clean energy research in the Office of Science, over $500 million to increase the use and reduce the costs of renewable power, and $325 million for the agency's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy to support transformative applied energy research.
"The United States remains the global leader in energy, science and security, building on its longstanding commitment to innovation," says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, in a statement. "The president's budget request for the Department of Energy sustains this commitment for future generations – in clean energy, in frontier scientific discovery, and in global nuclear security."
The budget would provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with $345 million for programs ranging from research related to biofuels to the demonstration and deployment of renewable energy systems. Furthermore, the budget supports $5 billion in USDA lending to rural electric cooperatives and utilities to help support the transition to clean energy and increased energy efficiency.
The budget would also invest in U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) renewable energy development programs, providing roughly $95 million to review and permit new projects on federal lands and waters. The fact sheet says the funds will allow the DOI to continue progress toward its goal of permitting 20 GW of renewable energy capacity and related transmission infrastructure by 2020 as part of the president's Climate Action Plan.
In the budget, Obama also aims to make the PTC permanent and refundable – a goal he proposed in last year's budget request as well. The fact sheet says making the incentive permanent "will provide a strong, consistent incentive to encourage investments in renewable energy like wind and solar, create American jobs, and support American companies and manufacturers."
In addition, the president repeats his 2014 request to cut $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to oil, gas and other fuel producers.