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Published on February 4th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

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"Energy Only" Bill Got a Failing Score From CBO

February 4th, 2010 by  


The recently much touted alternative “energy only” bill would not cost fossil industries, but instead would cost taxpayers $13.9 billion a year, according to this scoring by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office – that has been gathering dust since September. This failing grade from the CBO has received no publicity at all. I can’t imagine why, can you?

The bill would authorize a total of $48.6 billion over the first three years. It would add $13.5 billion each year to the deficit.

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Renewable energy would share $10.4 billion of the $48 billion with electricity supply and electricity delivery funding (or a little over $3 billion a year for renewable energy).  Nuclear energy would get $5.2 billion a year, and $5.5 billion a year would go to fossil energy. The remaining $27 billion would be allocated to science programs.

The bill has no self-funding mechanism.

By contrast, revenues created by the cap and trade component in the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (CEJAPA) would actually fund its renewable energy component, and leave some extra ($21 Billion a year) according to the Congressional Budget Office scoring in December.

To disburse its measly $16 billion-odd a year; the “energy only” bill would add a new Federal Agency: the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) to disburse these funds.

Currently, the Department of Energy is investing ten times that amount in renewable energy – $36 billion under ARRA in advanced technologies and renewable energy, led by the Nobel prizewinning Energy Secretary Steven Chu. However, Chu has been under fire from Republican members for supplying too little support for fossil and nuclear power.

Last year saw $36 billion in renewable energy funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and in the 2010 budget the administration hopes to keep funding at the current level for renewable energy.

The “energy-only” bill is co-sponsored by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) who led the attempt to overturn the recent EPA ruling on greenhouse gases, and it has strong Republican  and Chamber of Commerce support.

The funds for fossil energy in the “energy only” bill come from you and me, and maintain the status quo.

Energy-Only Bill: Cost = $13 billion annually.

The renewable funds in CEJAPA are from fossil companies who must reduce pollution or pay pollution fees.  It reduces greenhouse gases 20% by 2020, and generates an extra $21 billion each year from which renewable incentives are funded.

CEJAPA: Benefit = $21 billion annually.

I simply can’t imagine why there has been a media blackout on this very stark difference in the CBO scores between the two bills, can you?

Image: mar is sea Y

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



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