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FY2011 Budget - Energy and Water Development - GOP v Obama

Updated on March 8, 2011

FY2011 Budget

I have started to go through the budget and put together charts which compare the GOP and Obama budgets with the FY2010 budget. The next section of the budget comes from the Energy and Water Development committee and includes budgets for the Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, and some independent agencies.

The information comes from the House Appropriations committee1 which breaks the budget up by congressional committees. I am not following their groupings exactly in all cases.

March 04, 2011

Update March 08, 2011

On March 2nd Congress passed H.J.Res. 44, a Continuing Resolution to fund the government for two more weeks (up until March 18th). It included some earmark terminations from the Energy and Water Development budget. They are shown below. Information from the House Committee on Appropriations.2

-$56 million - Army Corps of Engineers, Investigations
-$341million - Army Corps of Engineers, Construction
-$80 million - Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi River
-$39 million - Army Corps of Engineers, Operations and Maintenance
-$38 million - Bureau of Reclamation, Water and Related Resources
-$292 million - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
-$13 million - Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
-$3 million - Nuclear Energy Research and Development activities
-$37 million - Fossil Energy Research
-$77 million - Office of Science – science research
-$4 million - Defense Environmental Cleanup
-$3 million - Other Defense Activities
-$13 million - National Nuclear Security Administration - Office of the Administrator
-$0.3 million - Nuclear Nonproliferation - equipment upgrades

FY2010 Budget levels

The graphs below show program funding levels for FY2010. The white bar represents the 2010 budget level while the overlaid red bar represents the budget level requested by the GOP. The still visible white component therefore represents GOP proposed budget cuts. The graphs are to the same scale for comparison.

Graphs

There are three additional graphs provided for each section. The first graph compares the Obama and GOP budgets to the FY2010 budget. The second graph shows the percentage difference between the GOP and the Obama budgets. The third graph shows the dollar difference between the GOP and Obama budgets.

COE, Interior and Independent agencies

Department of Energy

Analysis

The budget differentials for the COE, the Bureau of Reclamation and the five independent agencies are relatively small. There still could be some fighting over this, especially perhaps with the cuts to the regional agencies which individual representatives may fight for.

The Department of Energy has some large GOP proposed cuts, however expect in extremely tough fight by the Democrats for these programs. Especially, the Office of Science which is considered by Obama to be one of the crown jewels.

Corps of Engineers

The two budget submittals are pretty close to one another and the actual dollar values are relatively small - only $134 million dollar difference between the two. The largest dollar differential is for the Corps' construction budget, yet both budgets are asking for large cuts to this program. It is possible that the full cuts being asked for by the Republicans will be agreed upon.

The largest percentage differential is from the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency program. Obama has requested a significant increase (73.2%) so it is reasonable to assume it is pretty important to someone. I expect this differential to be halved.

Department of Interior

The Interior departments programs in this section of the budget are from the Bureau of Reclamation and only the Water and Related Resources program has a significant budget (near one billion). Both budgets are again very similar. The largest percentage difference is for the Central Valley Project. There is also a small difference for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. I expect both of these differentials to be halved.

Independent Agencies

The five programs in this section are national/state regional partnerships. It is hard to say what will happen to these programs. They seem to be the sort of programs Republicans really dislike, so they may end up being more of an ideological fight than a fiscal one. I suspect the Democrats will fight to keep these programs from being wiped out, which the Republicans want to do to three of them. I expect the ARC and Delta differentials will be halved while the other three will receive close to their FY2010 funding.

Department of Energy

There are some large cuts proposed for the Department of Energy by the GOP (nearly 3 billion) out of a total budget of 27 billion. I would really expect that it is here where there could be the biggest fight. The Obama administration and the democrats should draw a line in the sand to defend the funding for these programs. And if they do as they should they should fight to the death for them (not that many politicians ever do this).

Key programs
Several programs in this department have been put forward by Obama as key policy platforms that develop and promote the energy technologies of the future. These include the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Nuclear Energy, The Energy Information Administration, the Office of Science, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. I expect these programs to receive Obama's full funding request.

Similar budget requests
There are a number or programs in the DOE for which the two budget proposals are very similar. I expect that for these the GOP cuts will get through. These include Environmental Management, Uranium Enrichment, Nuclear Waste Disposal, Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, and the Power Marketing Administrations.

Fossil Energy
I'm not sure the Democrats will mind putting through GOP reductions in this program. Although I'm not sure the GOP will accept these cuts if the clean energy programs don't also see cuts.

Compromised programs
There are three programs I expect the two sides to split the difference in requests. The Energy Administration, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Environmental and other Defense Activities.

Prediction

My estimate for the Energy and Water Development budget for FY2011. For what it's worth.




Notes

1. FY2011 Continuing Resolution Reductions. The U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations , n.d. Web. 22 Feb 2011. <http://republicans.appropriations.house.gov/_files/ProgramCutsFY2011ContinuingResolution.pdf>.

2. "Continuing Resolution Unveiled Today Will Continue Government Operations, Cut Spending." United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, n.d. Web. 8 Mar 2011. <http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=266>.

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