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Energy, the U.S. Budget, and Climate Change

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Published: March, 2012

The future of the federal government’s involvement in the supply and use of energy is now being vigorously debated as a part of a national conversation about government debt and the appropriate role of government. Much of that debate is focused on the Department of Energy’s grant and loan programs as well as on tax incentives for energy technologies.

This paper puts these programs in the broader context of energy-related activities in the federal budget and provides a starting point for further discussion and analysis of the federal government’s role in energy and climate change. We outline the landscape of federal spending and revenue collection activities that substantially influence energy supply or use in 2010, organized by the type of policy tool or mechanism supported.