One look at the projects funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 reveals that the Obama administration is helping advance our nation's clean energy economy. However, a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts reveals that the federal government spent about $25 billion in the energy sector, as a whole, in 2009 and not all of this funding was due to the Recovery Act. This works out to be about $212 per household.
The research was carried about by the staff at Subsidyscope, a project of the Pew Trusts that "aims to raise public awareness about the role of federal subsidies in the economy." The $25 billion in energy sector funding came through a variety of financing channels including grants, loans, loan guarantees, contracts, and more.
“The United States spends billions of dollars a year attempting to make energy more affordable, cleaner and to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil,” said Subsidyscope project director Marcus Peacock. “As legislators in Washington consider decisions that will affect how our nation consumes and produces energy, this data provides a clearer view of how our government shapes energy policy through its use of subsidies.” Source: Subsidyscope
The U.S. Department of Energy was responsible for $13.3 billion in energy sector spending with the U.S. Department of Treasury paying out $6.3 billion and the Department of Health and Human Services spending $5.1 billion in the sector. Most of the HHS spending went to help low-income families that were unable to pay their heating bills.
The Recovery Act was responsible for approximately $6.3 billion in energy sector in funding in 2009 but the report reveals that this will jump to more than $21 billion by fiscal year 2012. Another jump will be seen in renewable energy and alternative fuel investments. In 2009, fossil fuel industries received $3.2 billion in federal tax expenditures while the renewable energy and alternative fuel sectors only received $1.5 billion. However, these numbers will flip-flop in the coming years as the administration continues its push for a green economy.
For more specific information about government funded energy projects, read the entire report: Federal Activities and Subsidies in the Energy Sector.