Bush’s proposed 2008 budget was released today, coming in at $2.9
trillian trillin trillion. It will surely be picked apart by plenty of people with intelligence and patience I lack. But some key parts:
- $4.4 billion for research programs including:
Coal Research Initiative — A request of $385 million, part of a plan to spend $2 billion over a decade on building low-emission coal-fired power plants. The money includes $108 million for FutureGen, a zero-emissions coal plant that would store heat-trapping greenhouse gases in underground reservoirs and also manufacture hydrogen fuel.
Solar America Initiative — $148 million in research with goal of making solar photovoltaic technology competitive with conventional electricity by 2015. That’s versus an $83 million request for 2007. Solar technology could power one million homes by 2015, if the effort succeeds.
Biofuels Initiative — $179 million in research in producing ethanol from wood chips and switchgrass. That’s versus $92 million in 2007. Bush wants to make cellulosic ethanol cost competitive with corn-based supplies by 2012.
- Automakers wanted more money for R&D on hybrids and batteries. They got $309 million for hydrogen fuel cells, up from $289 million this year, and $81 million for battery research, up from $31 million for 2007, but say it’s not enough if they want to compete with foreign automakers.
- NOAA got $100 million more than it did for 2007, but still $100 million less than the agency got in 2006.
- NASA funding is dismal, and many fear climate and hurricane research may suffer.
- Cue feigned surprise: Bush wants drilling in ANWR by 2009, and funds accordingly.
- Farm subsidies down, food aid up.
- Yucca nuclear waste dump funding boosted to $494.5 million.
- $258 million increase to National Park Service for their centennial birthday bash, additional employees, and maintenance.
- FEMA funds cut, down $826 million.
- $162 million to Everglades restoration.
- $175 million for R&D of “congestion pricing” and other methods of reducing gasoline use by cutting the amount of fuel and money wasted sitting in traffic, but Amtrak funding cut by $100 million.
- An additional $25 million for 9/11 health research and care.