Wrangling over the 2006 budget began today with the submission of the White House’s budget proposal to Congress. Details will change, but the President’s budget is the starting point.
Although the overall $23.4 billion Department of Energy budget proposal marks a 2% decrease from 2005, nuclear energy and fossil fuel energy counter that trend, with significant increases in spending proposed.
Below is a snapshot of select line items from the more detailed DOE budget submission.
A few comments on specific items.
Biological and environmental research, cut 6.9%, includes programs in global climate change; environmental remediation; molecular, cellular, and systemic studies on the biological effects of radiation; structural biology; medical applications of nuclear technology; and the Human Genome Program. The program also supports science related to carbon sequestration and sequencing of genomes of microbes that use carbon dioxide to produce methane and hydrogen.
Vehicle technologies, cut 2.3%, supports the FreedomCAR and 21st Century Truck partnerships with industry. Program activities encompass a suite of technologies, including lightweight materials, electronic power control, high power storage, and hybrid electric drive motors. The program supports research to improve the efficiency of advanced combustion engines, using fuels with formulations developed for such engines, and incorporating non-petroleum based components.
Many of the line items support research and efforts in others. The nuclear initiatives, for example, also involve investigation into the production of hydrogen. As a general statement, though, biofuels and biomass are trimmed, while fossil fuels and nuclear get a big boost.
We’ll see what happens as the negotiations progress.