Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Obama looks to forge ‘climate-smart economy’ with budget

President Obama is proposing significant funding increases to environmental regulators and clean energy research as part of his final budget offered as president.  The centerpiece of Obama’s proposal is a plan to green the transportation sector through a $32 billion, 10-year pan to invest in mass transit, clean vehicle research and lower-emission transportation sectors on the local and state level. He would pay for the plan by assessing a $10 per barrel tax on oil produced in the United States.  Obama is also looking to double the federal government’s investment in clean energy research and development, from $6.4 billion in 2016 to $12.8 billion in 2021, according to the budget proposal. About 76 percent of the funding for research and development will go toward Department of Energy research programs. Water programs get a boost in the budget, which would increase conservation programs and research work by $62.9 million over 2016 levels. Climate change resilience measures are also built into the budget. It provides $2 billion over 10 years for coastal areas susceptible to sea level rise, $311 million for a flood insurance program and new investments in anti-drought and wildfire programs. Obama also looks to use his budget to support the recent international climate agreement reached in Paris by pumping $1.3 billion into international climate change programs, including a $750 million investment in the Green Climate Fund for developing countries...more

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