Bush administration requests bioenergy funds in 2008 budget

By | March 27, 2007
The Bush administration's 2008 budget allots $179 million to the U.S. DOE for the biofuels initiative within the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) and $397 million for energy projects in the USDA budget, for a total of $576 million.

The president unveiled the AEI in his 2006 State of the Union address and elaborated on it in his 2006 speech. Administration fact sheets indicate the $179 million will fund AEI biomass research on "the production of cellulosic ethanol from corn and to make other organic materials available as a competitive energy alternative by 2012." The funds support a diverse portfolio of research, development and commercialization programs in biomass, solar, hydrogen fuel, clean coal, nuclear and advanced battery research. "The AEI is accelerating breakthroughs in how we power our homes, cars and businesses, and will help the U.S. to diversify its sources of energy, reduce dependency on oil and increase our energy security," the administration said.

The 2008 budget continues to provide funds to the USDA to support the development of renewable energy resources and commercialization activities designed to help meet the president's goal of increasing biofuels usage by 20 percent by 2017. The USDA's 2008 budget proposal includes $397 million for energy projects, an increase of $161 million over 2007. Of this increase, $132 million is for rural development renewable energy investments through guaranteed loans and grants, and other efforts. The remaining increase of $29 million supports research and development activities to enhance bioenergy feedstocks and improve conversion technologies for cellulosic ethanol.