Continuing Resolution Boosts Funding for Efficiency, Renewable Energy

February 21, 2007

A newly approved bill provides a significant funding increase for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for the remainder of the current fiscal year. In mid-February, Congress passed and President Bush signed a bill that will provide continued funding for the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2007, which concludes at the end of September. Such "continuing resolutions" are enacted in lieu of the traditional budgetary process.

House Joint Resolution 20, also known as the "Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007," continues funding at FY 2006 levels for much of the federal government, but Section 20314 of the bill specifies that nearly $1.474 billion go to EERE. That represents a nearly 27 percent increase over the amount appropriated by Congress for FY 2006, but the effective increase is even greater, since the bill eliminates most if not all congressionally directed funds, or "earmarks." The lack of earmarks gives EERE a great amount of flexibility in how it directs the funds.

The continuing resolution's impact on specific EERE programs cannot be ascertained at this point, since the bill does not specify how the funds will be distributed among EERE's programs. However, the bill requires DOE to report back to Congress with a spending plan within 30 days of its passage. See the White House press release, the full text of the bill, and for comparison, the EERE budget documents for FY 2008.