Federal Budget

Energy innovation on the budget chopping block

Scott Tong Feb 14, 2011
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Federal Budget

Energy innovation on the budget chopping block

Scott Tong Feb 14, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: In Washington today It’s gonna be all about the Federal Budget. Today, the White House Will release its proposal Which will cut the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over 10 years. But Republicans are already saying that’s not enough cutting.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Scott Tong tells us about the fight that’s brewing over investment in energy innovation.


SCOTT TONG: Today’s proposal covers next year, even though politicians are still duking out this year’s spending. In both cases, the President’s push for energy innovation faces cuts. On renewable energy for instance, House Republicans want to spend 35 percent less than the White House. Ideologically, the rub is the government’s role in bringing early innovations from lab to market.

Patrick Clemens is with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

PATRICK CLEMENS: A lot of these innovations require a three-year time frame, and that’s getting on the far edge for industry to invest in ideas that may not come to fruition.

Ideas like advanced batteries, where the government’s stepped in and helped U.S. companies take on foreign competitors. But that’s picking winners, says Nick Loris at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

NICK LOIS: The private sector is the one that has the incentive to go out and make the profit and develop the technologies that will be commercially successful, because they stand to reap all the economic benefits.

He thinks anything that smacks of applied research will face a tough Republican crowd this Congress.

In Washington I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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