On February 14, 2011, President Barack Obama unveiled the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012 (the “2012 Budget”), which proposed a 12 percent increase in funding for the Department of Energy (“DOE”). 

The 2012 Budget cuts “inefficient fossil energy programs” and increases the commitment to energy efficient research, development and deployment, and increases renewable energy investments.  The 2012 Budget also provides $36 million in additional loan guarantee authority for new nuclear projects and provides $7.6 billion to maintain a “safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile” to support planned decrease in deployed U.S. and Russian weapons.

DOE funding will continue to be the subject of debate going forward, and the 2012 Budget sets up a partisan debate in light of the continuing budget resolution (“CR”) put forth by the House of Representatives Appropriations committee on Friday, February 11, 2011.  The CR would cut the DOE’s 2011 funding by $3.09 billion and decrease Environmental Protection Agency spending by $3 billion.  The CR would also prevent the EPA from spending money on implementation of climate change regulations.  The CR would allow government operations to run from March 4, 2011 through September 30, 2011.

 A copy of the budget is available here.