President Obama released his $3.9 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal for the federal government on March 4, 2014. The budget reflects the administration's "all of the above" energy strategy as well as its reinvigorated focus on addressing climate change, following the unveiling of the President's Climate Action Plan in June 2013. The proposed 2015 budget increases the Department of Energy's (DOE) funding by 2.6 percent over 2014 enacted levels, but reduces the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) by 3.8 percent.
Highlights include a $1 billion Climate Fund to help local communities adapt to and recover from the extreme weather -- droughts, hurricanes and floods -- that climate change is already making more prevalent. The budget also calls for a $56 billion infrastructure package developing a "resilient infrastructure that would help our communities prepare for the effects of climate change." Related initiatives seek to make the electricity grid more resilient, not only to disasters but to attacks as well. Also of note is a requested increase of 26 percent over 2014 appropriations for the Department of Transportation. The increase would go some ways to address the $86 billion maintenance backlog that bedevils the country's transportation infrastructure, and help fund more energy efficient modes of transportation.
The budget once again repeats the President's call for the elimination of $4 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, while proposing to make tax credits for renewable energy production permanent. The administration has requested additional funds for natural gas research which it views as assisting its goal of transitioning the United States to a low-carbon economy, as the additional funds will finance the development of carbon capture and storage technology for use in coal and natural gas power plants.
This fact sheet outlines the Obama administration's FY 2015 budget request for several clean energy and infrastructure programs within key agencies.