Geothermal R&D Funding Excluded from Presidential FY08 Budget

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) applauded the Senate Energy Committee chairman for criticizing the lack of funding in the administration’s FY08 budget for geothermal energy research.

According to the GEA, in the past year, there have been a number of reports released from leading education and renewable energy organizations on the tremendous pay-off for a continued federal commitment to develop and utilize the nation’s vast and largely untapped geothermal resources. “A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has highlighted how new drilling technology could revitalize our approach to geothermal energy,” U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I don’t know why the Administration is giving this promising option short shrift.” The U.S. Department of Energy announced President Bush’s FY08 budget requests yesterday for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The $1.24 billion allocated to renewable energy includes funding in the amount of $179 million for biomass; $148 million for the Solar America Initiative; $213 for hydrogen technology and fuel cell development; $176 million for vehicle efficiency technology; and $40 million for wind projects. “We applaud Senator Bingaman for recognizing that the budget shortchanges the nation by failing to fund any research on geothermal energy,” said Karl Gawell, executive director of the GEA. “We urge other leaders in Congress to join him and reverse this ill-considered decision.”

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