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U.S. Energy Dept. budget goals described

Feb. 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department says its 2013 proposed budget of $27.2 billion will fund critical investments in innovation, clean energy and national security.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Monday the fiscal year 2013 budget represents tough choices meant to concentrate taxpayer resources on areas that will yield the greatest benefit over time.

"The United States is competing in a global race for the clean energy jobs of the future," Chu said. "We can and must compete for those jobs. This budget request includes responsible investments in an American economy that is built to last."

The Obama administration has tasked the Energy Department with investing in the research, development, deployment and production of clean energy technologies; reducing the cost of solar energy by 75 percent; reducing U.S. dependence on oil by one-third by 2025; and strengthening national security by reducing nuclear dangers and maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent, an Energy Department release said.

The budget includes $770 million for nuclear energy, including $65 million to support first-of-a-kind small modular reactors, and $60 million for research and development on dealing with nuclear waste, the release said.

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