Earlier, I guessed that Bush’s "Advanced Energy Initiative" amounted to a promise of $264 million in new money to EERE. Mike Millikin at GreenCarCongress seems to think it’s more — specifically, $996 million. Since he’s smarter than me, I suppose I’ll accept his breakdown of the funding, though he doesn’t say where he got it:

Funding proposals to support the Advanced Energy Initiative in the President’s 2007 Budget will include:

  • $150 million — a $59-million increase (65%) over FY06 — for the Biorefinery Initiative, the purpose of which is to help develop bio-based transportation fuels from agricultural waste products, such as wood chips, stalks, or switch grass.
  • $30 million — an increase of $6.7 million (29%) over FY06 — to speed up battery development for hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
  • $289 million — an increase of $53 million (22%) over FY06 — to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen-powered cars.
  • $281 million for the development of clean coal technologies. The President had committed $2 billion over 10 years to speed up research in the use of clean coal for power generation. The 2007 Budget request will nearly complete that $2-billion promise 4 years ahead of schedule, according to the White House.
  • $54 million for the FutureGen initiative — a public-private partnership to develop an emissions-free coal plant. (Earlier post.)
  • $148 million for a new Solar America Initiative — an increase of $65 million (78%) over FY06 — to accelerate the development of solar photovoltaic cells.
  • $44 million for wind energy research — a $5-million increase (13%) over FY06 levels.

If you add the $281 million for "clean coal" and the $54 million for FutureGen you get $335 million. In other words, by far the biggest recipient of Bush’s "alternative energy" money is coal. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that coal does not replace oil. So there goes 28% of the "solution." Solar and wind won’t replace oil either — not unless that plug-in and hydrogen-car research produces some electric cars mighty quick — so altogether 47% of Bush’s response to oil addiction is totally irrelevant.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations matched.

Some alternative.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

(For curiosity’s sake, I’ve appended a table showing the current priorities of EERE. )

EERE budget priorities

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.