A Free-Market Energy Blog

Obama’s 2015 Budget: Wish List Climate Spending ($10.8 billion for what?)

By Megan Toombs -- March 12, 2014

The federal government is $17.5 trillion in debt with this amount increasing at more than a half-trillion per year. Yet the Obama Administration has just proposed a budget that increases spending. It’s business as usual in D.C.!

President Obama Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, released last week, is a wish-list for the Administration’s pet programs. It has already been derided by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, but that does not make it irrelevant. It signals the goals of the Obama Administration going forward.

Included in the $3.9 trillion budget is $10.8 billion earmarked for climate change-related initiatives in addition to the $7.9 billion EPA budget. That makes a total of $18.7 billion of your money.

Where would this money go?

Climate Resilience Fund: $1 Billion

The Climate Resilience Fund, created to aid Americans preparing for a changing climate. What does that mean exactly? Among other things, research into anthropogenic global warming-induced natural disasters such as sea level rise, wildfires, and drought.

That means a cool billion dollars is going to prevent a problem that doesn’t exist. The earth has not appreciably warmed in 17 years, and since 2002 it has been cooling. The fear is that glaciers will melt and the sea will rise—but glaciers aren’t melting, and in fact are growing.

Droughts can be expensive and cause wildfires and higher food costs. Droughts happen, but currently they’re not nearing the severity or length of past droughts. However, they can be prevented by storing appropriate amounts of water for the local population.

Central California is a perfect example. That area was mostly desert until enterprising people settled, built dams and irrigation, and created a fertile area from which much food is produced.

Today demand for water exceeds supply. The problems is not climate change, it’s humans not using their God-given talent to create a solution. Planning for the population increase and building more water storage capability would have been an effective solution, one that could work in the long-term, but it is too late for it to help right now.

U.S. Global Change Research Program: $2.5 billion

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) coordinates the collaboration among 13 government agencies to research climate change and its impact on society.

Created by the Global Change Research Act of 1990,  GCRP is a money pit for government this-and-that in the name of climate change. Its mission statement reads: “To build a knowledge base that informs human responses to climate and global change through coordinated and integrated Federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support.” More specifically:

our four strategic goals are to:

  1. Advance Science (Study Climate and Global Change) Advance scientific knowledge of the integrated natural and human components of the Earth system
  2. Inform Decisions (Prepare the Nation for Change)
    Provide the scientific basis to inform and enable timely decisions on adaptation and mitigation
  3. Conduct Sustained Assessments (Assess the U.S. Climate) Build sustained assessment capacity that improves the Nation’s ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to global change impacts and vulnerabilities
  4. Communicate and Educate (Make Our Science Accessible) Advance communications and education to broaden public understanding of global change and develop the scientific workforce of the future.

NOAA: $2 Billion

Still another $2 billion will be spent on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather and climate Satellite Programs.

Satellites provide large amounts of useful data, and are not in and of themselves bad expenditures. However, broken and wasteful programs are bad expenditures. According to the Government Accountability Office, these programs “have troubled legacies of cost increases, missed milestones, technical problems, and management challenges that have resulted in reduced functionality and slips to planned launch dates. As a result, the continuity of satellite data is at risk.” Fix the problems before throwing more money after bad.

U.S. Department of Energy: $2.3 Billion

And $5.2 billion goes to the Department of Energy to research clean energy technologies, as well as an unspecified amount of an additional $2.3 billion for “reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, promoting energy efficiency, and doubling U.S. renewable electricity generation.” Last, but not least, $48 million will be spent on interagency research into the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.

To pay for this waste of money, the President wants to raise taxes on the top 1 percent.

President Obama has claimed to have an “all of the above” energy strategy, but his constant war on fossil fuels tells the true story. The improvement in the American economy is due to affordable energy. Affordable energy is provided by the natural gas revolution-which, by the way, is a fossil fuel.

That revolution is due to an economic demand for energy that is being met by private citizens drilling on private land. The Federal Government might want to take the credit, but they don’t deserve it.

Oil production on federal lands decreased 10% since 2010, and production of natural gas decreased by half between 2003 and 2012. Compare these numbers to private production which saw 35% increase in oil and 40% increase in natural gas between 2007 and 2012. The free market saw a need and met it—despite the federal government, not because of it.

Bad Values, Bad Policy

The budget proposal is just that, a proposal. But it demonstrates the President’s values and goals in the coming year. It’s true that with a divided Congress, the budget can’t pass, but the Administration and its allies in Congress will pull out all the stops to keep as much as they can.

President Obama has placed value on the falsehoods of global warming, which has become an environmental religion. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” Good policy is based on truth; bad policy is based on falsehood. This climate change policy is based on falsehood; it’s bad policy.


Megan Toombs is Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Cornwall Alliance.


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