Obama proposes to double US clean energy funding

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Washington, Feb 7 (IANS) The US President Barack Obama said he will ask Congress to double the country’s funding for clean energy research and development by 2020, as part of his efforts to combat climate change.

“Rather than subsidise the past, we should invest in the future,” Xinhua quoted Obama as saying on Saturday.

He hoped that the Republicans in Congress who “are still considering their position on climate change” could support his budget for the fiscal year 2017, which will start from October 2016.

The budget for the fiscal year 2017 will be released on Tuesday.

Obama added that the money “will include new investments to help the private sector create more jobs faster, lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help clean, renewable power outcompete dirty fuels in every state.”

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US federal investment in clean energy research and development would rise from $6.4 billion in the fiscal year 2016 to $12.8 billion in the fiscal year 2021, under Obama’s new proposal, according to a statement from the White House.

That would mean about a 15 percent increase in clean energy research and development funding in each of the forthcoming five years of the pledge.

If approved, the fiscal year 2017 budget would provide $7.7 billion in discretionary funding for clean energy research and development across 12 agencies, which is about 20 percent above the level for the fiscal year 2016.

Earlier this week, Obama said he would also propose in Tuesday’s budget to seek a fee of

$10 per barrel on oil to be paid by oil companies to help create a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system.

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These proposals are highly likely to fall apart in the Republican-led Congress. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise called Obama’s oil tax plan “absurd” and pronounced it “dead on arrival” in the House of Representatives.

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