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President Obama has released the fiscal-year (FY) 2010 budget, which includes measures that are designed to encourage renewable energy development. While praising the administration's support for renewable energy, Carol Werner, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, says that the lack of a stimulus package in 2010 may hinder development.

"As the country grapples with how to make very significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the near term, the willingness of the administration and Congress to invest in accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy will be tested by the FY 2011 budget because it will not have the advantage of this year's major stimulus package to bolster it," she says.

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program has a budget of approximately $2.3 billion (about 8% of the DOE budget). This is an increase of $140 million compared to last year's budget. The FY 2010 budget is supplemented this year with funds appropriated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided an additional $38.7 billion for DOE, $16.8 billion of which are specifically budgeted for EERE programs.

The budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development reflects a new focus on community development and redevelopment as a key part of the solution to climate change and energy independence. The budget request includes $40 million in community challenge grants to encourage local leaders to make changes to zoning, land use rules and building codes, and $2.4 million for a new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.

The budget request for the Department Of Labor's Employment and Training Administration includes programs to help the country's youth move into the growing fields of renewable energy infrastructure, energy efficiency and home retrofitting.

SOURCE: Environmental and Energy Study Institute

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