President Barack Obama has unveiled a budget blueprint he says will boost the U.S. economy in the short term and cut America’s massive federal deficit in the long term. Opposition Republicans, who control one house of Congress, are blasting the Obama budget as an abdication of fiscal responsibility, and say it will never become law. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
On a positive note, the The Sacramento Bee reports as Good News that:
‘$27.2 billion for the Department of Energy, a 3.2 percent increase over what Congress enacted last year:
$2.3 billion would go towards research and development for energy efficiency, advanced vehicles and biofuels.
$522 million increase in renewable energy sources and an additional $174 million for a revamped industrial technology-advanced manufacturing program.
$12 million would go towards multi-year research investments in safer natural gas infrastructure in order to reduce risks associated with hydraulic fracturing in shale formations.
Pipeline safety would receive a 70 percent, or $64 million, increase.
Approximately $1 billion for energy conservation efforts in the Department of Defense (DOD), which is the world’s largest energy consumer.
DOD is increasing its commitment to renewable energy, which now makes up 8.5 percent of its energy production and procurement.
$174 million for sustainable fisheries work by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which supports the science and management needed to support the commercial fishing industry that supports 1 million jobs and yields more than $32 billion in income every year.
$28 million for the National Catch Share Program, a critical part of the nation’s strategy to return its fisheries to abundance, the same level adopted by the Congress last year’.
Whereas, Bad News is listed thus:
‘Counterproductive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency
The fiscal 2013 budget seeks $8.3 billion, which is $105 million below the current funding level for the agency.
If Congress approves the proposal, it would be the first time since 1994 that the agency’s budget was cut for three consecutive years.
Counterproductive cuts to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service
The fiscal 2013 budget seeks to cut funding for Farm Bill conservation programs by about $600 million.
Congress already has cut conservation funding by $2.8 billion over the last five years (FY 2008-2012), representing 81 percent of the nearly $3.5 billion in Farm Bill spending cuts during that time period’.
 “Obama Budget Proposal a Big Net Plus for Environment” The Sacramento Bee (14 Feb 2012). http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/13/4261269/obama-budget-proposal-a-big-net.html.