US renewable energy funding dips as water and nuclear spending increases

The US Senate has approved the final version of the year 2000 spending plan for water and energy projects. Renewable energy businesses and associations have called on the President to veto the bill.

The Fiscal Year 2000 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill has a $21.3 billion budget, with increases in spending for the water and nuclear industries. With an overall reduced budget and with water spending on the increase, the poor cousins like renewable energy have seen their budgets slashed.

“It actually reduces the funding for renewable energy from last year’s £336 million to $311 million,” Ken Bossong of the Sustainable Energy Coalition told edie.

Although there were early hopes that the President’s request for $399 million for renewable energy funding would be granted, Bossong believes that the decrease in funding is the result of increased pressure for large water projects – water being given an extra $100 million for the year 2000 – and the stereotypical last-place finish for ‘green’ energy. “Renewable energy programmes are the small fry, so we get the crumbs that are left over,” said Bossong.

The Sustainable Energy Coalition has urged the President to veto the bill but Clinton is expected to pass it. The Coalition represents 35 national renewable energy business interests and environmental consumer groups.

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