On February 13, 2012, FERC asked Congress to authorize the agency’s $304.6 million budget request for 2013.  This is the same amount FERC requested for fiscal year 2012.  FERC’s budget request states it will focus on two overarching goals for the year: (1) ensuring just and reasonable rates, terms and conditions; and (2) facilitating the deployment of new infrastructure. 

President Barack Obama’s budget requests $27.2 billion for Fiscal Year 2013 for the Department of Energy (“DOE”), which includes FERC.  This request constitutes a 3.2% increase in DOE funding from 2012 levels.  The President’s DOE budget emphasizes the development of clean energy, eliminating approximately $4 billion annually in subsidies and tax preferences for oil and gas companies.  Obama’s budget also includes $2.3 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy within DOE.  The White House states that its energy budget request is fuel neutral, noting that it embraces an “all-of-the-above” strategy (i.e., short hand for a policy that does not favor one particular energy source).

Republican leaders have questioned Obama’s characterization of the budget as promoting an “all-of-the-above-energy” strategy.  They state that removing oil and gas benefits, particularly with a stalled economy, runs counter to a fuel-neutral policy.  Democratic leaders believe that subsidies should encourage nascent industries like renewable energy.  They note that oil and gas is not longer a nascent industry that requires subsidies and tax breaks.

The President’s FY 2013 budget request for DOE includes:

  • R&D support for clean energy technologies, including $276 million for clean coal and carbon capture and storage, and $350 million for more ARPA-E early stage R&D;
  • Investing in basic science, research and innovation to solve U.S. energy challenges, ($60 million for research on energy storage systems, $120 million for the Energy Frontier Research Centers, and $140 million for six Energy Innovation Hubs for research commercialization);
  • $770 million for nuclear energy, including $65 million for cost-shared awards for small modular reactors and $60 million for nuclear waste disposal research;
  • $14 billion to reduce nuclear dangers and maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and clean up the environmental hazard legacy from the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.

To view FERC’s complete budget request, click here.

To view the DOE’s complete budget request, click here.