Posted 12/3/2011 1:15:18 PM
The Department of Energy (DOE) is charged with advancing the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; promoting scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and ensuring the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex. It facilitates some of the President’s highest priorities: clean energy and research and development (R&D), which are critical to the Nation’s economic competitiveness and national security. The President’s Budget provides $29.5 billion for DOE to support this mission, a 12 percent increase over the 2010 enacted level. While funding has been increased in these critical areas, the Administration has identified areas for savings, such as certain fossil energy programs where industry has the resources to move forward without Federal assistance.
The electrical grid is the responsibility of private energy companies, who should form a cooperative to maintain interoperability. The grid itself should be managed by the states working together and with the energy companies. Managing this private industry at the federal level is not authorized under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Eliminate; privatize. $42B saved. The nuclear arsenal is the responsibility of the Department of Defense. Move these programs under DoD. DoE consists of two areas of responsibility, both of which belong elsewhere. Eliminate; $43.1B saved.
Energy Security - In his State of the Union address, the President outlined clearly to the American people his roadmap for reinventing our nation’s energy policy to meet the demands of future generations. “Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s,” he said. To meet the President’s challenge, the Department must recruit the sharpest research minds and build on its aggressive discovery agenda across all programs to achieve breakthroughs on the most pressing energy challenges facing the United States.
It is constitutional neither to subsidize nor invest in energy at a federal level. Eliminate.
Applied Research and Development - Meeting the President’s goal of making America the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, the Department will research cost competitive methods to develop electric vehicles, increase the adaptability and capacity of the grid to enable vehicle charging, and send them to the nation’s roadways. The Department will also launch competitive manufacturing research for breakthrough technologies in energy efficiency diagnostics and retrofits to help business owners around the country save money on energy costs
The President of the United States should not be developing goals regarding private industries run by private companies. His job is to run the government. While research is authorized by the Constitution, it’s not the federal government’s job to research everything anyone would ever want to learn. The government should only research topics which cannot be easily privatized for profit, or which private companies are not willing to share the results of. One such example is space exploration, until the private sector finds a way to capitalize on it.
Loan Guarantees - The Loan Programs Office (LPO) is a vital tool for promoting innovation in the energy sector across a broad portfolio of clean and efficient energy technologies. In FY 2012, the Department is requesting credit subsidies to support approximately $1 to $2 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy deployment and up to $36 billion in additional authority to provide loan guarantees for nuclear power projects. The Department will also continue to accelerate the issuance of loan guarantees to leverage private sector investment in clean energy and energy efficiency projects that will save and create jobs.
The government is not a bank. If a company can’t afford to do research by their own means, they just can’t afford it. When you can’t afford something, you just don’t buy it. This program also aligns directly to Obama’s unconstitutional energy agenda.
Better Buildings Initiative - To advance clean energy usage in our communities, the Department requests $100 million in credit subsidy for a pilot program, called the Better Buildings Pilot Loan Guarantee Initiative for Universities, Schools, and Hospitals. This pilot program will guarantee up to $2 billion in loans for energy efficiency retrofits for buildings that serve as community assets, such as universities, schools, and hospitals. And to achieve a 20 percent improvement in commercial energy usage, the Department’s FY 2012 request will increase R&D funding for building technologies and make financing opportunities available through the Race to Green competitive grant program for state and municipal governments that are improving efficiency standards in their communities. The Department will also work with CEOs and university presidents through the Better Buildings challenge to make their organizations leaders in saving energy.
While the Interstate Commerce Clause does authorize the Congress to regulate commerce between states, such is not a requirement. Clean energy in particular, and the environment in general, are not the responsibility of the government – With the sole exception of ensuring the rights of such polluters do not infringe on the equal rights of their neighbors to have a clean environment. This priority has been overemphasized; while reasonably clean water and air on your own land are your right, a blue sky free of distant smog clouds is not. R&D should be privatized where profitable; research is authorized but not required by the Constitution. Research being authorized does not mean the federal level government should be doing research in every aspect of American life.
Grants are a redistribution of wealth; socialism. The federal government has no authority to incentivize private businesses to run their businesses a certain way, as long as they aren’t breaking any federal laws.
Electricity Reliability and Energy Management - Reliable, affordable, efficient, and secure electric power is vital to expanding economic recovery, protecting critical infrastructures, and enabling the transition to renewable energy sources. The FY 2012 request invests $238 million to bring the next generation of grid modernization technologies closer to deployment and commercialization, to assist states and regional partners in grid modernization efforts, and to facilitate recovery from energy supply disruptions when they occur. The request includes a new Smart Grid Technology and Systems Hub that will address the total electricity system, covering applied science, technology, economic, and policy issues that affect our ability to modernize the grid. The FY 2012 request also plans an expansion of the Home Energy Score program that provides homeowners with information on how their homes can be more energy efficient and guidance for saving on home energy costs.
The electrical power grid is the business of private electric power companies, power plants, and state governments working together. There is no need for this to be managed or regulated at a federal level. The government certainly shouldn’t be paying to modernize equipment and infrastructure owned by private companies.
To “Assist states” is likely in the form of grants. Such assistance is a redistribution of wealth; socialism. Energy disruption recovery is the business of the companies and states. The rest of this is clearly not the business of government; however, the monopolistic nature of power companies should be considered and discouraged. Just not at the national level.
Leadership in Nuclear Energy - Nuclear energy currently supplies approximately 20 percent of the Nation’s electricity and 70 percent of the Nation’s clean, non-carbon electricity. The request for the Office of Nuclear Energy includes $380 million for research and development, in addition to key investments in supportive infrastructure. In addition, the Department is engaging in cost-shared activities with industry that may help accelerate commercial deployment of small modular reactors. The request includes funding for cost-shared design certification and licensing activities for small modular reactors, the deployment of which holds promise for vastly increasing the generation of clean energy on a cost competitive basis. The Department will also promote nuclear power through the Loan Guarantee Program, which is requesting up to $36 billion in additional loan guarantee authority in FY 2012.
The Department of Defense and the National Security Advisor are responsible for overseeing the management of nuclear materials. Other than that, the federal government should not be involved in the electrical infrastructure. Development and deployment of “small modular reactors” should not be managed by the government; at best, the government could buy them from the energy companies or selected distributors if a need therefor arose.
Experience in Advanced Fossil Energy - The world will continue to rely on coal-fired electrical generation to meet energy demand. It is imperative that the United States develop the technology to ensure that base-load electricity generation is as clean and reliable as possible. The Office of Fossil Energy requests $452.9 million for research and development of advanced coal-fueled power systems and carbon capture and storage technologies. This will allow the continued use of the abundant domestic coal resources in the U.S. while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Clearly the job of the energy companies. Let your dollar be your vote.
Ending Tax Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Producers - In accordance with the President's agreement at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels so that we can transition to a 21st century energy economy, the Administration proposes to repeal a number of tax preferences available for fossil fuels. Tax subsidies proposed for repeal include, but are not limited to: the credit for oil and gas produced from marginal wells; the deduction for costs paid or incurred for any tertiary injectant used as part of a tertiary oil recovery method; the ability to claim the domestic manufacturing deduction against income derived from the production of oil and gas and coal; and expensing the exploration and development costs for coal.
An idealistic endeavor, but with a grossly insufficient and misdirected implementation. The correct answer is to eliminate all tax subsidies, and let the market tell industry what technologies to use by adjusting demand accordingly. In other words, don’t support companies that you don’t agree with. Even if there is only one energy company where you live, if you really care, you can move.
Economic Security - To meet “our generation’s Sputnik moment” and promote economic competitiveness, the U.S. must demonstrate leadership in clean energy technologies. “We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people,” said President Obama before Congress in the State of the Union address. President Obama outlined his comprehensive vision to lead our nation’s clean energy economy and provide economic security to Americans. As the Administration seeks to reduce federal government spending, the Department recognizes its role and has tightened its expenditures in several areas such as oil and natural gas. The FY 2012 budget request acknowledges the Department’s missions to achieve these imperative goals while setting forth a clean energy economy for entrepreneurs and manufacturers to reclaim their competitive edge in clean energy innovation.
I don’t know what Constitution Obama has been reading, but mine doesn’t say anything about economic competitiveness, energy technologies, medicine, the environment, jobs, executive vision, natural gas, department missions, competitive edges, or clean energy innovation. Presidents have coerced Congress to bend the Interstate Commerce clause way too far; and Obama is no exception.
Expanding ARPA-E to spur innovation - The President’s request proposes $550 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) program with the FY 2012 request. ARPA-E performs transformational and cutting edge energy research with realworld applications in areas ranging from grid technology and power electronics to batteries and energy storage. The budget also supports programs with significant promise to provide reliable, sustainable energy across the country, such as the SunShot initiative aimed at making solar energy cost competitive. With focused investment in manufacturing innovation and industrial technical efficiencies, the President’s proposal will move private sector capital off the shelves and into the marketplace.
While the Constitution does authorize research, it does not mandate it. Further, when the government does research and lets private companies benefit therefrom, that’s a form of discrimination against the companies and industries whose research it isn’t helping. Grid technology, electronics, batteries, and energy storage are all private industries, and the government has no business interfering with or helping them along. As stated, the President’s proposal will move private sector capitol off the shelves and into the marketplace; the government will be its biggest customer. According to the DoE’s own website:
The DOE SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Reducing the installed cost of solar energy systems by about 75% will drive widespread, large-scale adoption of this renewable energy technology and restore U.S. leadership in the global clean energy race.
The government should not subsidize specific industries. With $145M in grant money, researching new ways to make money is the job of the Solar Panel industry. The government should not create deals with private industries to build solar panel power plants on federal land. All federal land, with the exception of defense or other classified activities, should be open to the public.
Targeting investments for future economic growth - To secure a competitive advantage in high-tech industries and maintain international leadership in scientific computing, we will invest in core research activities for energy technologies, the development of general biological design principles and new synthetic molecular toolkits to improve understanding of natural systems, and core research activities to advance the frontiers of high performance computing. Underlying these investments in research is the education and training of thousands of scientists and engineers who contribute to the skilled scientific workforce needed for a 21st century innovation economy.
The Constitution does neither authorizes nor warrants government involvement in gaining a competitive advantage in any industry, nor energy technologies, nor biological designs, nor synthetic molecular toolkits, nor computing. Scientists and engineers should be trained by their universities, peers, research papers, journals, other publications, the actual researchers, and the private companies which employ them. The government has nothing to do with the training and education of anyone.
Doubling the number of Energy Innovation Hubs to solve key challenges - Innovation breakthroughs occur when scientists collaborate on focused problems. The FY 2012 budget request proposes three new Energy Innovation Hubs that will bring top American scientists to work in teams on critical energy challenges in areas such as critical materials, batteries and energy storage, and Smart Grid technologies.
Innovation, breakthroughs, and collaboration are great things which advance us as a nation and as a people, but they’re not the government’s job. Innovation hubs are clearly the job of private industry.
Integrating Research & Development - The Department has identified areas where coordinated work by discovery-oriented science and applied energy technology programs hold the greatest promise for progress in achieving our energy goals. The Energy Systems Simulation to increase the efficiency of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) will produce a set of modern, validated computer codes that could be used by design engineers to optimize the next generation of cleaner, more efficient combustion engines. An initiative on extreme environments will close the gap between actual and ideal performance of materials in nuclear environments. And the Department’s Exascale Computing initiative will allow the Department to take the lead in developing the next generation of scientific tools and to advance scientific discoveries in solving practical problems.
Funny, I thought all science was oriented around discovery. The government has no business in energy, technology, progress, goals, simulations, engine efficiency (outside of NASA), environmentalism, computing initiatives, or tool development.
Pursuing the passage of HOMESTAR - Enactment of this program will create jobs by providing strong short term incentives for energy efficiency improvements in residential buildings. The HOMESTAR program has the potential to accelerate our economic recovery by boosting demand for energy efficiency products and installation services. The program will provide rebates of $1000 to $3000 per household to encourage immediate investment in energy-efficient appliances, building mechanical systems and insulation, and whole-home energy efficiency retrofits. This program will help middle-class families save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs while improving the comfort and value of their most important investment – their homes. In addition, the program would help reduce our economy’s dependence on oil and support the development of an energy efficiency services sector in our economy.
Creating jobs is not the government’s business. The government’s job is to avoid causing the job loss in the first place. Economic recovery is not a reason to create new energy programs, and recent history has shown it’s not very effective, either. Government rebates are redistribution of wealth; socialism. Providing a relatively small rebate will not motivate many people to spend much larger sums of money retrofitting their homes during a depression. People do not make major investments when they’re already broke, no matter how good the investment may seem. Their homes are not their most important investment; their children are. People are not going to spend a few thousand dollars investing in a home that has lost ten times that in market value, due in part to programs exactly like this one.
Extending access to tax credit and tax grant programs - Two provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have been extraordinarily successful in spurring the deployment of renewable energy projects and building advanced manufacturing capabilities: Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program and the Section 1603 Energy Cash Assistance program. The Administration is pursuing an additional $5 billion in support for the Section 48C program, which, by providing a 30% tax credit for energy manufacturing facilities, will continue to help build a robust high-technology, U.S. manufacturing capacity to supply clean energy projects with U.S. made parts and equipment. The Section 1603 tax grant program has created tens of thousands of jobs in industries such as wind and solar by providing up-front incentives to thousands of projects. The Administration is seeking a one-year extension of this program.
Government has no constitutional authority, right, or duty to interfere with the natural economic success or failure of private industry; with the exception of regulating the transfer of commercial goods between states. Eliminate tax credits and other loopholes. Government’s job does not entail helping manufacturing capacities or specific industries.
Promoting efficient energy use in our everyday lives Currently, over 50 percent of the goal to weatherize 600,000 homes of low income families has been achieved, providing energy cost savings and financial relief to households. The FY 2012 request of $320 million continues residential weatherization, while increasing the focus on new innovative approaches to residential home weatherization. Families should weatherize their own homes. If they can’t afford to, they can get help from friends, families, bank loans, churches, charitable organizations, and kind strangers. This should not be handled at the federal level.
National Security - A pillar of President Obama’s national security agenda for the United States is to eliminate the global threat posed by nuclear weapons and prevent weapons-usable nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists. As part of this agenda, the Administration and Congress worked tirelessly toward the December 2010 bipartisan ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia, which cuts the number of strategic nuclear weapons each country can deploy to 1,550. After signing this agreement in April 2010, President Obama said, “In many ways, nuclear weapons represent both the darkest days of the Cold War, and the most troubling threats of our time. Today, we’ve taken another step forward … in leaving behind the legacy of the 20th century while building a more secure future for our children. We’ve turned words into action. We’ve made progress that is clear and concrete. And we’ve demonstrated the importance of American leadership -- and American partnership -- on behalf of our own security, and the world’s”.
The DoE manages our nuclear arsenal; clearly the job of the DoD. Withdraw from START.
Reduce the Risk of Proliferation - In 2009, President Obama committed the United States to an international effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material worldwide in four years. To solidify international support for this effort, and to address the threat of nuclear terrorism, the President convened leaders from 47 countries at the Washington Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010. The Summit resulted in a Communiqué which stated, “Nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security, and strong nuclear security measures are the most effective means to prevent terrorists, criminals, or other unauthorized actors from acquiring nuclear materials.”
This is the job of the DoD and the Intelligence network.
Leverage Science to Maintain Nuclear Deterrence - The FY 2012 budget request advances the Department’s commitment to the national security interests of the United States through stewardship of a safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear testing. The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report calls for the United States to reduce nuclear force levels. As the United States begins the reduction required by New START, the science, technology and engineering capabilities and intellectual capacity within the nuclear security enterprise become more critical to sustaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent. NNSA continues to emphasize these capabilities, including functioning as a national science, technology, and engineering resource to other agencies with national security responsibilities. Through the NNSA, the Department requests $7.6 billion for the Weapons Activities appropriation, an 8.9 percent, or $621 million, increase from the President’s FY 2011 request. It also is an 18.9 percent, or $1.205 million increase from the FY 2010 enacted appropriation. This increase reflects an investment strategy that provides a strong basis for transitioning to a smaller yet still safe, secure and effective nuclear stockpile without additional nuclear testing, strengthening the science, technology and engineering base, modernizing the physical infrastructure, and streamlining the enterprise’s physical and operational footprint. These investments will further enable the Nuclear Posture Review’s comprehensive nuclear defense strategy, based on current and projected global threats that rely less on nuclear weapons, while strengthening the nation’s nuclear deterrent through completing major stockpile system life extensions, stabilizing the science, technology and engineering base, and modernizing the infrastructure.
National security is not an energy issue. Nuclear weapons are the DoD’s responsibility. Withdraw from START and ignore the results of the Nuclear Posture Review Report. The United States has plenty of defense against nuclear weapons, but no amount of searching, preening and posturing will ultimately prevent a suitcase bomb from crossing the Canadian or water borders. The only true deterrent is to alter our foreign policy in such a way that nobody wants to attack us. To do that, we must withdraw from overseas locations and stop invading countries which are occupied by known terrorist organizations or nuclear-capable forces.
Advance Responsible Environmental Cleanup - The FY 2012 budget includes $6.13 billion for the Office of Environmental Management (EM), to protect public health and safety by cleaning up hazardous, radioactive legacy waste from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. This funding will allow the program to continue to accelerate cleaning up and closing sites, focusing on activities with the greatest risk reduction. Acceleration of cleaning up sites where funding would have immediate impact was established as the overarching objective of the $6 billion in Recovery Act funding. EM will use the remaining $309 million of Recovery Act funding during FY 2012 as it completes footprint reduction and near-term completion cleanup activities.
Reduce nuclear cleanup activities to 2006 levels, and eliminate when complete. Such a program does not need an office to coordinate; it needs only the part time attention of one bureaucrat. While it’s important we clean up after ourselves, it’s no excuse to make government bigger in the process. Nuclear materials have a very long half-life: Plutonium in the tens of thousands of years, uranium in the billions of years. Both decay by emitting alpha particles, a simple form of radiation that can be blocked by clothing or paper. Disposal thereof is not an emergency.
Office of Science - The Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) delivers scientific discoveries and major scientific tools to transform our understanding of energy and matter and advance the energy, economic, and national security of the United States. SC is the largest Federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences, supporting programs in areas such as physics, chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, applied mathematics, and computational sciences. In FY 2012, the Department requests $5.4 billion, an increase of 9.1 percent over the FY 2010 current appropriation, to invest in basic research. The FY 2012 request supports the President’s Strategy for American Innovation, and is consistent with the goal of doubling funding at key basic research agencies, including the Office of Science. The FY 2012 Office of Science budget request supports the following objectives from the Strategy, including: Unleash a clean energy revolution; Strengthen and broaden American leadership in fundamental research; Develop an advanced information technology ecosystem; Educate the next generation with 21st century skills and create a world-class workforce.
The federal government sure does have a lot of science programs. I don’t understand why they can’t all be done with one single program. While the Constitution authorizes science and research, it does not mandate them. Eliminate and privatize for now; incorporate into a new Department of Science when the debt is paid off.
Office of Environmental Management - The mission of the Office of Environmental Management (EM) is to complete the safe cleanup of the environmental legacy brought about from over six decades of nuclear weapons development, production, and Government-sponsored nuclear energy research. This cleanup effort is the largest in the world, originally involving two million acres at 110 sites in 35 states, dealing with some of the most dangerous materials known to man.
Follow my advice two programs ago under “Advance Responsible Environmental Cleanup”. Beyond that, managing the environment is not the federal government’s job. Pass a law that says “Don’t pollute land, water, and air in areas you do not own, except where agreed to by its owner”, and be done with it. Really, this should be handled at the state level.
Loan Programs Office: Helping Finance Clean Energy Deployment - Innovative Technology Loan guarantee Program- To encourage the early commercial production and use of new or significantly improved technologies in energy projects, the Department requests up to $36 billion in authority to guarantee loans for nuclear power facilities and $200 million in appropriated credit subsidy for the cost of loan guarantees for renewable energy system and efficient end-use energy technology projects under section 1703 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The additional loan authority for nuclear power projects will promote deployment of new plants and support an increasing role for private sector financing. The additional credit subsidy will allow for investment in the innovative renewable and efficiency technologies that are critical to meeting the Administration’s goals for affordable, clean energy, technical leadership, and global competitiveness.
The government is not a bank; unconstitutional, socialism. Private projects should not be handled at the federal government level, and regulated only to the point of commerce between states. That is, to ensure lawful exchange of goods, services, and money from one state to another. That, as I understand it, is the meaning of the Interstate Commerce Clause. Such regulation is not required, but is authorized by the Constitution. While not required to, the federal government morally should let the states handle this one.
Office of Nuclear Energy - The Department is requesting $852.5 million for NE in FY 2012 – a decrease of 0.6 percent from the FY 2010 current appropriation. NE’s funding supports the advancement of nuclear power as a resource capable of meeting the Nation’s energy, environmental, and national security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, proliferation resistance, and security barriers through research, development, and demonstration as appropriate.
Eliminate the NE and let the states manage their own nuclear power systems. The government has no authority to manage the environment. National security should be handled by the DoD and the NSA. Nuclear materials do pose a potential threat to national security, however; so I am in favor of the federal government overseeing such materials per the Common Defense Clause. Such oversight should be handled by the DoD and NSA; eliminate NE.
Office of Fossil Energy (OFE) - The FY 2012 budget request of $521 million for OFE will help ensure that the United States can continue to rely on clean, affordable energy from traditional domestic fuel resources. The United States has 25 percent of the world’s coal reserves, and fossil fuels currently supply over 80 percent of the Nation’s energy.
Unconstitutional; state level.
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) - NNSA continues significant efforts to meet Administration and Secretarial priorities, leveraging science to promote U.S. national security objectives. The FY 2012 President’s budget request for NNSA is $11.8 billion; an increase of 5.1 percent from the President’s FY 2011 Request. The five-year FY 2012-2016 President’s Request for the NNSA reflects the President’s global nuclear nonproliferation priorities and his commitment to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and sustain a strong nuclear deterrent, as described in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) Report, for the duration of the New START Treaty and beyond.
Eliminate; transfer all assets, personnel, funding, and responsibilities to the National Security Administration.
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