I wanted to know a little more about President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget as it related to energy items. I’m wondering what priorities his administration has, for instance. I can’t say that after taking a brief look around I’m totally pleased with what I found. There is too much of a budget boost to legacy energy systems and not enough emphasis, in my opinion, to the energy systems of the future. Those future systems are what I think the government should be funding. Without a doubt, the subsidies to the dirty energy industry need to be cut off completely. They’re mature to the point of being nearly monopolistic, which means they can stand or fall on their own merits now. With that in mind, here is some of what I’ve found.
As part of the stimulus spending championed by President Obama and passed by the Democratic-led Congress, Colorado will receive more than $128.7 Million for weatherization funding and energy efficiency grants.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Colorado will receive $128,753,213 in weatherization and energy efficiency funding – including $79,531,213 for the Weatherization Assistance Program and $49,222,000 for the State Energy Program.
Weatherization and energy efficiency are two methods of keeping energy costs down. Here’s how the Obama administration is playing this: weatherization, energy efficiency and other programs go into effect as soon as possible, saving energy consumers money right away. A carbon cap-and-trade program goes into effect in the next couple of years, which will have the effect of raising energy prices as the program spins up and a price for carbon is settled on. As Americans continue to use energy efficient programs (power generation, appliances, etc.), the raising energy prices don’t impact their budgets severely enough to disrupt their lifestyles. These kinds of things are being thought through by Obama and others. The right-wing reactionaries are desperately trying to tie into populist anger – I don’t think it’s going to get them very far as people do the math at their kitchen tables.
Oh, and as this funding is spent in Colorado, programs are expanded, which requires more employees. Thus, good paying jobs are created and the economy finds a bottom. A lot of people win under Obama’s plan.