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Energy hails Obama's budget plans

  |   Feb. 15, 2011 at 8:33 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The budget proposal spelled out by U.S. President Barack Obama puts the United States on the path toward a clean energy future, the energy secretary said.

Obama said his $3.7 trillion proposal would slow the burgeoning deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years. The savings over 10 years would equal next fiscal year's projected $1.2 trillion deficit, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says.

The administration proposed 211 terminations, reductions and savings measures that officials said would save more than $33 billion in fiscal year 2012. The terminations and reductions are across all government agencies.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the budget plan corresponded with Obama's vision of generating 80 percent of the U.S. consumer demand from clean energy by 2035. This would come through investing $3.2 billion in renewable energy programs.

"While we are investing in areas that are critical to our future, we are also rooting out programs that aren't needed and making hard choices to tighten our belt," Chu said in a statement.

Billions more, Chu said, would help with everything from nuclear energy to efficient energy technologies.

Obama highlighted clean energy during his State of the Union address in January, saying he wanted the United States to be the first in the world to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

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