FY 2013 Budget Likely to Bolster DOD’s Renewable Energy Programs
The fiscal 2013 budget request President Obama unveils today is expected to call for increased spending for the military’s campaign to shift to alternative energy sources, according to defense appropriators.
The request most likely would expand funding for the entire range of DOD clean energy programs now underway, including vehicles, aircraft and ships, forward operating locations and other operational uses, and installations, reports Government Executive.
“I think in the past three to five years this has been going on but that it has grown as a culture and a practice and it’s a good thing,” Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said in reference to DOD’s efforts to increase its reliance on clean energy.
Increasing federal investment in DOD rather than the Energy Department would be a way for the administration to promote clean energy without risking renewed criticism of past investment failures, most notably the default by solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra on its $535 million federal loan.
On Monday, DOD officials will provide dollar details for the department’s FY 2013 budget request, which is based on the strategic guidance framework announced last month.
“We’ve previewed a lot of this budget already,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Friday.
The strategy reflects the $487 billion budget reductions the Budget Control Act set for defense spending through 2021. The approach emphasizes a smaller force, focused away from large commitments of ground forces and supporting a strategic pivot toward the Asia-Pacific region.
The budget will includes cuts in the end strength for the Army and Marine Corps with an increase in special operations forces, while “keeping faith” with troops and families by preserving gains made in pay and benefits over the past decade, reported American Forces Press Service.
DOD’s topline budget request is $525 billion for FY 2013, down from $531 billion in the current year.