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This weekend was a disappointing one for me, as it seems as though the Democratic leadership has decided to move immigration reform legislation before climate change/energy legislation.  I've made no secret that I believe the energy legislation should come first.  So, in order to try and temper my frustration, I did some research to find out what exactly has already been done by the Obama Administration on energy.  You know what?  They've done quite a bit.

Department of Energy-Recovery Act Breakdown

The Department received $32.7 billion in total funds from the Recovery Act, broken down as follows:

$16.7 billion for saving money through Energy Efficiency, building the domestic Renewable Energy industry, and restructuring the Transportation industry to increase global competitiveness:

  1. $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program
  1. $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program
  1. $2.73 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants
  1. $2.0 billion for Advanced Battery Manufacturing Grants
  1. $800 million for the Biomass Program
  1. $454 million for Retrofit ramp-ups in energy efficiency
  1. $400 million for the Geothermal Technologies Program
  1. $400 million for Transportation Electrification
  1. $346 million for Energy efficient building technologies
  1. $300 million for Energy Efficient Appliance Rebates / ENERGY STAR®
  1. $300 million for the Alternative-Fueled-Vehicles Pilot Grant Program
  1. $256 million for the Industrial Technologies Program
  1. $115 million for the Solar Technologies Program
  1. $110 million for the Vehicle Technologies Program
  1. $104 million for National Laboratory Facilities
  1. $100 million for Facility improvements at National Renewable Energy Lab
  1. $93 million for Wind energy projects
  1. $50 million for Information and Communications technology
  1. $41.9 million for Fuel Cell Markets
  1. $32 million for Modernizing existing U.S. hydropower infrastructure
  1. $25 million for the Massachusetts Wind Technology Testing Center
  1. $22 million for Community Renewable Energy Deployment
  1. $18 million for Small Business Clean Energy Innovation Projects

$6.0 billion for U.S. legacy Nuclear Waste Clean up

  1. $1.6 billion for the Hanford River Site Recovery Act Project
  1. $1.4 billion for the Savannah River Site Recovery Act Project
  1. $775 million for the Oak Ridge National Lab Recovery Act Project
  1. $468 million for the Idaho National Lab Recovery Act Project
  1. $326 million for the Office of River Protection Recovery Act Project
  1. $212 million for the Los Alamos National Lab Recovery Act Project
  1. $200 million for the Liquid Waste Tank Infrastructure
  1. $172 million for the Carlsbad Field Office Recovery Act Project
  1. $118 million for the Portsmouth Recovery Act Project
  1. $108 million for the Moab Recovery Act Project
  1. $98 million for the Argonne National Lab Recovery Act Project
  1. $79 million for the Paducah Recovery Act Project
  1. 474 million for the West Valley Recovery Act Project
  1. $69 million for the Title X Uranium/Thorium Reimbursement Program
  1. $54 million for the Energy Technology Engineering Center ARRA Project
  1. $52 million for the Separations Process Research Unit ARRA Project
  1. $44 million for the Nevada Test Site Recovery Act Project
  1. $42 million for the Brookhaven National Lab Recovery Act Project
  1. $20 million for the Mound Operable Unit 1 Recovery Act Project
  1. $8 million for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Recovery Act Project

$4.5 billion to lower electricity costs and increase customer choice through Electric Grid Modernization

  1. $3.5 billion for Smart Grid Investment Grant Program
  1. $700 million for Energy Storage Demonstration
  1. $100 million for Workforce Development
  1. $80 million for Interconnection Transmission Planning and Analysis
  1. $55 million for Enhancing State / Local Governments Energy Assurance
  1. $50 million for State Assistance on Electricity Policies
  1. $29 million for Program Direction
  1. $10 million for Interoperability Standards and Framework

$3.4 billion for demonstration that Carbon Capture and Sequestration can compete economically

  1. $1.5 billion for Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage Applications
  1. $1 billion for Fossil Energy Research and Development Programs
  1. $800 million for the Clean Coal Power Initiative Round III
  1. $49 million for Geologic Sequestration Site Characterization
  1. $20 million for the Geologic Sequestration Training and Research
  1. $10 million for Program Direction

$2.0 billion for Scientific Innovation in advanced energy technology research

  1. $400 million for Advanced Research (ARPA-E)
  1. $277 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers
  1. $247 million for Basic Energy Services
  1. $216 million for High Energy Physics
  1. $198 million for Science Laboratories Infrastructure
  1. $155 million for Biological and Environmental Research
  1. $154 million for Advanced Scientific Computing Research
  1. $143 million for Nuclear Physics
  1. $97 million for Energy Sciences Fellowships and Early Career Awards
  1. $83 million for Fusion Energy Sciences
  1. $58 million for Small Business Innovation Research

Now, I know your first reaction: "Carbon capture and sequestration?  You mean clean coal?  What a waste!"  Well, I don't necessarily disagree.  But when you have a sizable delegation of Democrats from coal states, you have to invest in it whether you want to or not.

You may also be wondering what exectly clean up of nuclear waste has to do with creating renewable energy.  Well, on its own, nothing.  But when paired with this:

The EPA is showing its commitment to using "contaminated", or "brownfield", sites in creative ways to help create jobs for local communities, help the environment, and protect people’s health by using such sites for solar and other clean energy projects now. Such sites include current and former industrial or commercial sites that may be contaminated with small amounts of hazardous waste or pollution. Of course, it is often not easy to use these sites for housing, retail, office, open space, or other purposes, so using them for clean energy is a productive, efficient use of these lands.

The EPA reports that 490,000 such sites, nearly 15 million acres of land exist across the country. 917,000 acres have now been "cleaned up" and agreements have been made with state, regional and Native American tribal agencies in order to reuse these lands for clean, renewable energy.

The inclusion of this program makes more sense.

And this isn't the only way the Federal government is encouraging renewable energy investment. The DOE Loan Program has made significant investments in a number of renewable energy projects.  Among them:

Solar (PDF):

Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced conditional commitments for more than $1.37 billion in loan guarantees under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to BrightSource Energy, Inc. to support the construction and start-up of three utility-scale concentrated solar power plants. The new plants will generate approximately 400 megawatts (MW) of electricity using the company’s innovative, proprietary technology. This would nearly double the existing generation capacity of this type of renewable energy in the U.S.

The three-plant Ivanpah Solar Complex will be located on federally-owned land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, near the Nevada border, and will be the world’s largest operational concentrated solar power complex. Once operational, the project will supply clean electric power to approximately 140,000 California homes.

BrightSource estimates that the construction of this complex will employ approximately 1,000 people, and its operation will create 86 permanent jobs. BrightSource’s construction contractor has entered into project labor agreements with various trade unions for the construction of the project.

Wind (PDF):

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced that the Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment on a $117 million loan guarantee to finance the construction and start-up of an innovative 30 megawatt (MW) wind energy project in Kahuku, Hawaii. Kahuku Wind Power, LLC will install twelve 2.5 MW wind turbine generators along with a battery energy storage system for electricity load stability. The loan guarantee is being supported by funds made available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Located on the island of Oahu, the Kahuku project will contribute to Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative goal of meeting 70 percent of the state’s energy needs with clean energy by 2030. Currently, each island uses an isolated electric grid that relies upon the use of imported oil, which currently comprises 90 percent of the state’s energy supply. By harnessing wind power, the project is expected to supply electricity to 7,700 households and avoid the production of nearly 160 million pounds of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.

The project sponsor, First Wind Holdings LLC, estimates that construction of the Kahuku project will create 200 jobs.

Electric vehicles:

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced today the closing of a $528.7 million loan with Fisker Automotive for the development and production of two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The loan will support the Karma, a full-size, four-door sports sedan, and a line of family oriented models being developed under the company's Project NINA program.

The DOE has made another investment of $200 million is solar and hydropower technologies.  These investments include:

Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative: Up to $125 million over five years

Photovoltaic Supply Chain Development: Up to $40 million over three years

National Administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network: Up to $4.5 million over five years

Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies (MHK): Up to $39 million over four years

And there are strong steps being taken within the 2011 budget:

Among the proposed rollbacks of those fossil fuel handouts are an enhanced oil recovery credit, a credit for oil and gas from marginal wells, and a rule that allows companies to deduct up to 25 percent of income from some oil and gas wells. Repeal of that last deduction alone would raise $10 billion through the 2020 fiscal year, he said.

Similar credits and deductions exist for the coal industry, and the 2011 budget proposal would cut many of those as well. For example, repealing a rule allowing 10 percent of income from a coal deposit to be deducted would raise more than $1 billion through 2020.

The 2011 budget also proposes extending a number of other tax laws, including a $1 per gallon credit for the production of biodiesel and a $0.45 per gallon credit for ethanol. The former was allowed to expire at the end of 2009, while the ethanol credit is set to expire at the end of this year. The government also picked winners with last year’s Recovery Act, which provided $2.3 billion in tax credits for manufacturing facilities of clean energy such as wind turbines and solar panels.

Mundaca said that the Treasury Department and Department of Energy had no problem finding 183 projects to fund with that money, but the cap on funding resulted in two-thirds of the worthy projects being left behind. The president's new budget proposal would add $5 billion more to that pool, and the existing pipeline of technically feasible projects that were previously rejected could provide a quick economic and jobs boost.

And while the WH has encouraged changes in energy production, they've also encouraged changes in energy use & how Americans live:

Last June, FTA announced that it would evaluate New Starts and Small Starts applications on the basis not only of cost-effectiveness (as judged by how much travel time is saved) but also the land uses that the transit project would support and the economic development the transit project would bring about. Approximately equal weight would be given to each of those three factors.

• In December, DOT announced that it would make grants of up to $25 million each for ‘urban circulator systems such as streetcars and rubber-tire trolleys.’ It noted that these systems foster ‘the redevelopment of urban spaces into walkable mixed use, high density environments.’

• In January, DOT rescinded a Bush policy that had required New Starts projects to achieve at least a ‘medium’ rating on cost-effectiveness. That rating relied on criteria that tended to favor longer-distance modes of transit, such as bus rapid transit. Gustafson points out that no streetcars were able to qualify for funds under the Bush measure of cost-effectiveness.

None of this is enough of course.  We need a comprehwnsive energy policy if we are to make a significant dent in the climate change problem.  But it is important to remember that there are good things happening.

Originally posted to mark louis on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I still think (3+ / 0-)

    we should stick a few thousand college students & their profs in the desert & let them loose creating new solar & green technologies

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:25:55 PM PDT

  •  Good roundup. All of the (8+ / 0-)

    incremental things added up together won't substitute for a comprehensive climate policy that puts a price on carbon, although it's nice to see that they're happening.

    I wouldn't be surprised if, fairly soon, Graham patches things up with Reid and whomever else is needed to patch.  They've come too far to walk away.

    Finally broke down, joined the twittering classes: RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:31:46 PM PDT

  •  It's nice to hear the good news. (5+ / 0-)

    Like you said, it isn't enough, but can you imagine what these numbers would look like under McCain?

    It's funny, the first diary I wrote was on Steven Chu's energy talk while he was still at LBL. I always have to brag when I give lab tours that we are operating a laser that the Nobel Laureate used while at Bell Labs (my advisor worked there as well.) We also have a liquid nitrogen dewar with 'Chu' written on it in large, black letters.

    "Interesting. No, wait, the other thing: tedious." -Bender

    by patrickz on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:43:05 PM PDT

  •  this is a great round-up Mark, thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, dRefractor

    My concern is this:

    Here are the programs that explicitly target renewable energies (as I read them):

      4.  $2.0 billion for Advanced Battery Manufacturing Grants
      5. $800 million for the Biomass Program
      7. $400 million for the Geothermal Technologies Program
     11. $300 million for the Alternative-Fueled-Vehicles Pilot Grant Program
     13. $115 million for the Solar Technologies Program
     14. $110 million for the Vehicle Technologies Program
     16. $100 million for Facility improvements at National Renewable Energy Lab
     17. $93 million for Wind energy projects
     19. $41.9 million for Fuel Cell Markets
     20. $32 million for Modernizing existing U.S. hydropower infrastructure
     21. $25 million for the Massachusetts Wind Technology Testing Center
     22. $22 million for Community Renewable Energy Deployment
     23. $18 million for Small Business Clean Energy Innovation Projects

    That makes a little over 4 billion... which is a lot of money, except when you consider the following context(s):

    That is less than 1/8 of the total you laid out.  If we really want it to happen in our lifetimes, we need to invest a far larger percentage of our resources into specifically WEANING off of fossil fuels.

    Oh, then there's this huge elephant in the room that Obama promised to stop, and that has apparently stalled since over a year ago:

    Exxon made over 10 times that in PROFITS last year... and I'm pretty sure they paid no (or next to none) taxes, correct?  So the government could easily double their investment into alternatives, if it stopped offering tax subsidies to the most profitable companies in history.

    I should also add that energy efficiency is a really important aspect, and I'm glad to see some areas that specifically focus on that.

    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

    by Hopeful Skeptic on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:52:07 PM PDT

    •  correction (0+ / 0-)

      That figure for Exxon was for 2008.  Apparently they only made just under 20 billion in 2009.  

      (I feel so bad that their profits dropped by over 50%, don't you??)

      I should really read my links more closely before I post them!

      "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

      by Hopeful Skeptic on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:56:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Understandable concerns (3+ / 0-)

      There is also the $200 million for solar/hydropower, $5 billion in the 2011 budget, and the elimination of various tax breaks for carbon energy in the 2011 budget.  None of this is enough, I agree.

      "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

      by mark louis on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 03:59:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I missed the amounts lower down in th diary. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        Thanks for pointing that out.

        One other question I had... what is the time frame for these dollar amounts?

        It dawned on me that the comparison to the oil company profits is even worse if the spending is going to be spread over 5-10 years.

        It truly boggles the mind how much money in pure profits that oil companies are making.

        "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

        by Hopeful Skeptic on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 04:04:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  gotta start somewhere (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Larsstephens

      probably will get more funding as more infrastructure is built out

      •  That's something people don't consider (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        Take electric cars for example.  Even if you have a million electric cars on the road, you need to build an infrastructure of charging stations so that people can drive them long distances.  You need to build charging stations in hotel parking lots, in parking garages, and put them next to gas stations.  It takes a huge amount of work.

        "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

        by mark louis on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 06:49:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do you know anything about (0+ / 0-)

    the National Administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network  - named in your list at $4.5m?

    Is this the Train the Trainers grant from DOE?

    •  Here's what I found (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Larsstephens

      Here's a story about the entire program:

      Another US $4.5m over five years will fund National Administrator of the Solar Instructor Training Network to select a national administrator that will provide a central coordination for the training network that was created last year by DoE to establish high-quality, local, and accessible training for personnel involved in the sales, design, installation, commissioning and inspection of solar PV and solar thermal systems.

      Awards have been made to 9 regional resource and training providers, and the national administrator will manage the collaboration of the network members, disseminate their products and conduct outreach efforts, such as providing recommendations for the adoption of best practices.

      The selected organization will serve as a national point of contact for the solar training network and will work with a broad set of stakeholders to define, prioritize and address issues related to solar training and workforce development. Applications are due by June 15.

      "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum."

      by mark louis on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 04:39:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this, Mark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    Am hotlisting for future reference.

  •  Thanks... (0+ / 0-)

    ...for the summary.

    Although much more needs to be done, this is a great start.

    And a wonderful change from Bush Era policies.

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