On March 6, the House passed H.R. 933, a resolution that continues government spending past March 27, when the current continuing resolution expires. The proposed measure provides funding through the end of the fiscal year in September. The bill is expected to reaffirm cuts made by sequestration; however, it will likely give the administration more flexibility in how sequestration cuts are implemented.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will see significant budgetary reductions in fiscal year 2013, as a result of the sequestration: The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will see its budget reduced by $91 million. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) will see it budget cut by $14 million. The Office of Fossil Energy will see its budget reduced by $25 million. The Office of Nuclear Energy’s budget will be cut $39 million.
In spite of the sequestration, the DOE announced on March 8 more than $50 million in funding available for new projects aimed at accelerating the development of advanced plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technology, and the Department of the Army will provide $3.5 million in co-funding through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance it has with the DOE.
Meanwhile, energy leadership in D.C. continues to change over—as previously reported, Ernest Moniz was officially nominated to be the next Secretary of Energy, and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is slated to succeed Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) as Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Subcommittee on Energy. Franken is expected to focus his attention on energy efficiency and clean energy issues.
For more on the latest energy and clean technology regulatory and legislative developments, including New York’s two-year hydraulic fracturing moratorium, please see ML Strategies’ most recent Energy and Environmental Update.