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Stimulus 2009 Department of Energy Appropriations (5-15-09)

Science received significant one-time appropriations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; H.R. 1; Public Law 111-5). Science agencies are now starting to release their reports and plans for the stimulus spending. All agencies that receive one-time funds are required to submit a plan with spending specifics to Congress within 60 days of enactment. In addition all agencies will be tracking the stimulus spending in separate accounts and providing updates on the uses of the stimulus spending. The Administration is also tracking stimulus spending for all federal programs at their website.

Geoscience-related programs covered by the Energy Department stimulus funding include the Office of Science, Office of Fossil Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Environmental Clean-up. Below are updates of stimulus spending plans, provided as the agencies release information and use the funds.

Stimulus 2009 Updates

Update on Overall Stimulus Spending for the Department of Energy (2-17-09)
Department of Energy (DOE)
*Office of Science:  $1.6 billion
*ARPA-E: $400 million
*Office of Fossil Energy: $3.4 billion
*Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: $16.8 billion
*Non-defense Environmental Clean-up: $483 million
*Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning: $390 million

DOE- Office of Science – The Office of Science shall receive $1.6 billion for programs.

DOE-ARPA-E - $400 million for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which will fund transformative and often high risk energy research projects. This will be an independent agency.

DOE- Office of Fossil Energy – Fossil Energy will receive $1 billion for fossil energy research and development; $800 million for the Clean Coal Initiative Round III funding; and $1.52 billion for competitive projects that demonstrate carbon capture and energy efficiency improvements.

DOE- Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Of the $16.8 billion for the office, $2.5 billion shall be for applied research and development related to biomass, $400 million shall be for geothermal research and development, $3.2 billion shall be for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, $2 billion shall be for grants for the manufacturing of advanced batteries and components and the rest for weatherization, vehicle fuel efficiency and other efficiencies.

Geosciences at the Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) programs of interest to the geosciences include programs for renewable energy and activities within the Office of Science, such as the Basic Energy Science program which has a geoscience division. Also of interest is the Yucca Mountain site characterization activities and environmental remediation of the nuclear weapons complex.

The priorities of the Department of Energy's (DOE) energy program are to: increase domestic energy production; revolutionize our approach to energy conservation and efficiency; and promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources. Fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas -- currently provide more than 85% of all the energy consumed in the United States, nearly two-thirds of our electricity, and virtually all of our transportation fuels. Moreover, it is likely that the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels to power an expanding economy will increase over at least the next two decades even with aggressive development and deployment of new renewable and nuclear technologies. The Office of Fossil Energy oversees two major fossil fuel efforts: emergency stockpiles of crude oil and heating oil and research and development of future fossil energy technologies.

Sources: Department of Energy.

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at

Contributed by: Linda Rowan and Corina Cerovski-Darriau, AGI Government Affairs Staff

Last Update: May 15, 2009.

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