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Obama's Budget Spares Cuts for Renewable Energy Investments
Unlike the budget that House Republicans unveiled last week, the President Obama’s new budget, which he unveiled yesterday, spares — for the most part — the spending he’s had in the works for renewable energy investments. Sticking to the points he raised during his State of the Union address the President’s budget doesn’t jeporadize our clean energy goals but he did include a $1.3 billion cut in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. The President included $3.6 billion in cuts for tax breaks and incentives for oil and gas companies that would help pay for his green initiatives. The US is currently swimming in debt, with a projected $1.6 trillion deficit in 2012. House Republicans on a cutting spree, have already lashed out at the President’s proposed plan saying, it is just not enough.
Everyone agrees that our spending needs to be cut back, so decreases in the budget are to be expected. The President took a hard line against excess spending — and against tax breaks for the oil and gas industry — in order to pay for things he believes are of utmost importance. His cuts for the EPA, however, were probably hard to write down. He cut $125 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative as well as cash for research into clean diesel technology and money for state drinking water and environmental cleanup initiatives. The President also cut a chunk of spending from fuel cell and hydrogen fuel initiatives to help pay for his other green spending goals.
Spending would be added to the Department of Interior to fund programs intended to keep offshore drilling for gas and oil safe and risk free — a response to the tragic BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His budget includes $8 billion for research and development for alternative energy technology and for research into ways to capture and store carbon from heavy emitters like refineries and power plants. The President’s budget is definitely easier to swallow than the one that House Republicans emerged with and considering the considerable debt that the country is in the President did take some steps to harness that, though not completely. The President’s budget would cut the US deficit by 10% over the next ten years, or $1.1 trillion.
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