July 10, 2009
Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved FY10 funding for the Department of Energy. As previously mentioned on this site, the House provided $880,000 for the UW-OSU Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, as well as $1,000,000 for the UW Washington State Biofuels project. Although the Senate did not provide similar figures, the Office of Federal Relations is actively working with the offices of Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell to make certain that UW project funding is — at a minimum — maintained this fall when the Energy and Water Appropriations bill goes to conference and is finalized.
The House Appropriations Committee was able to provide the Department of Energy Office of Science funding of $4.9 billion, the same as the President’s budget request and an increase of $171 million over last year. The Administration’s new initiatives, the Energy Innovation Hubs and the Re-ENERGYSE energy education program, received partial funding by the House Committee. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee cleared their bill yesterday and provided a similar increase for the DOE Office of Science. They provided funding for three Innovation Hubs but did not fund the Re-ENERGYSE program.
In terms of the comprehensive energy and climate authorization bills, the House passed its bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454), in late June. House Leadership made agreements for votes up until the end, reaching a final vote of 219 to 212. The most important R&D provisions in HR 2454 are the 1.5 percent of the climate mitigation credit allowances that were allotted for research and development and related activities. The House bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration, with most of the interested Senate committees with scheduled to hold hearings this month and mark up in early September. Senate Leadership has asked that all Committee markups be completed by September 28.