Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified today before the Senate Appropriations Committee on his Department’s budget, which contains billions in programs to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, like oil and coal. They will also look at clean energy in the United States.
The Obama administration’s request totals $29.5 billion, including $3.2 billion in spending and $300 million in tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The President also wants $550 million for early research into potentially game-changing energy technologies, and $146 million for research and development into battery and energy storage and smart grid technologies.
Yesterday, the British government pledged to cut that country’s carbon emissions in half by 2025.
The budget proposal also includes $36 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry. Senators pressed Secretary Chu on safety issues in light of the ongoing incident at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors. Last week, a panel of experts appointed by the White House called for the “expedited” creation of new sites to store spent nuclear fuel, to try to avoid what is happening in Japan.