Unfortunately, I noticed one thing seriously missing in all the budget news. Just what does this mean for climate change? The topic seems forgotten in the media coverage. Is it forgotten in the budget?
Now, I haven't seen an analysis of the bill yet, as it relates to climate. But I did read portions of the bill and I would like to share with you here why the bill is important, why what legislators do is important, why insistence by the Dems that they get funding for more than just defense is important.
I raise to you a little known office within the Department of Energy. Those that have followed my blog will recognize the office as one of my favorites: ARPA-E (The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy--could anyone have dreamed up a less catchy title?).
|BEEST: Just one of ARPA-E's projects, |
BEEST funds research into EV energy storage
So much of what we need in order to remove carbon from our electricity production and electrify everything using this carbon-free grid depends on the kind of research ARPA-E makes possible.
You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with the budget. Democrats pushed for more non-defense spending. Why does that matter? ARPA-E is just one small example of what that funding means. In this bill, ARPA-E receives the same funding it received last year, which is the largest amount it's ever received after its initial inception.
|ARPA-E's historical funding levels|
|Today's ARPA-E Funding in the Senate Budget Bill|
The moral of this story? Don't think that just because the Dems and Reps agreed on something that their battles don't matter, are more of the same old, same old or that there isn't a lot riding on the outcomes of these battles.
Boring old bipartisan agreement to hard won budget battles may mean all the difference in carbon kept underground.