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August 4th, 2009

Conference committee gets U.S. energy, water appropriations bill

Published on August 4th, 2009 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

The two house of Congress passed their own versions of the Energy and Water appropriations bill that includes Department of Energy funding. Now the bill will go to committee before a final version is passed by both house before it is sent to President Obama to be signed into law.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) told the New York Times that merging the House and Senate bills should not be too difficult. “I don’t anticipate that this process is going to be full of controversy. I think we will be able to do this in fairly short order. We have somewhat different numbers on water issues and certain areas of energy, but I think we will get this done,” he said.

Overall, the House’s version of the bill (pdf) provides $26.9 billion for DOE. According to the House Appropriations Committee, this is $86 million above current spending. The Senate’s version of the bill (pdf) provides almost $27.4 billion for DOE, $5.4 billion for the corps and almost $1.2 billion for Interior water programs.” House and Senate lawmakers will have the task of ironing out the differences.

Some of the funds will be funneled as follows:

$2.25 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

$4.94 billion for DOE’s Office of Science.

$15 million into district energy and combined heat and power systems.

$812 million for nuclear energy research.

$618 million for research and development for carbon capture and storage projects and alternative fuel technologies.

$15 million into district energy and combined heat and power systems.

Both versions also apparently contain funding for hydrogen vehicle research.

Congress is currently adjourned for summer recess and as a result, final passage of the bill is likely to occur in the early autumn.


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