NREL jobs restored ahead of Bush visit

Feb. 20, 2006 at 4:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Up to 40 renewable energy scientists will have their jobs restored as the Energy Department transferred $5 million to the facility ahead of President Bush's visit Tuesday.

"The programs at NREL are critically important to realizing the President's vision to diversify and strengthen our nation's energy mix," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said in a news release. "The action we are taking today will allow the dedicated employees at NREL to continue their work that will bring us great innovation in renewable energy technologies."

NREL refers to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The money transferred this weekend is still far short of the $28 million shortfall in the Financial Year 2006 budget.

The DoE transferred the $5 million from other accounts, according to the news release, and is working with Congress to restore funds by several methods, including the "deobligation" of funds provided my Congress to projects in 2001 and 2002 that have not come to fruition.

In an effort to bolster financial support for renewable energy, Bush will arrive at the NREL with a revised budget boosting the lab's funding by $15 million, reported the Denver Post. This move is part of the President's Advanced Energy announced in this year's State of the Union Address.

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