Representative Paul Ryan’s budget proposal [PDF] would cut approximately 85% of federal investments in energy technology research and deployment within three years, from around $7 billion in 2010 to $1 billion in 2014, while retaining billions in subsidies for the oil and gas industry.  As the New York Times reports:

Under the Republican plan, overall discretionary funding for energy programs would fall to about $1 billion per year. President Obama’s 2012 budget, meanwhile, would provide about $8 billion to support clean energy research and deployment.

…Cuts proposed in a short-term spending bill provide further clues as to which specific energy programs are likely to face calls for long-term elimination. The House-passed bill reduces research and development financing for electric car battery technology and charging infrastructure and eliminates loan guarantees meant to encourage clean energy manufacturing.

Production and investment tax credits for wind and solar power, which will lapse in several years, are also probable targets for elimination.

Other energy incentives may go unchallenged, however. Questioned on Fox News on Sunday by Chris Wallace on whether multibillion-dollar subsidies for oil and gas companies would also be eliminated, Mr. Ryan did not give a direct answer.

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As the House GOP leadership proposes a plan to curtail long-term federal investment in strategic research, technology, and innovation, China’s new Five-Year Plan intends to increase the nation’s R&D investment as a percentage of GDP from 1.8% to 2.2% by 2015, an increase of over 22%, while raising its commitment to clean energy technology deployment and manufacturing.

According to Joshua Freed, director of the energy program at the centrist think tank Third Way, the new House budget proposal “protects existing regulated markets and guts innovation — particularly applied research and development that are parts of the valley of death for too many companies — while pulling the rug out from under clean energy deployment”

A new BusinessWeek article, “China Buries Obama’s ‘Sputnik’ Goal for Clean-Energy Use,” notes the following:

“They intend to leapfrog the U.S. in these technologies,” Will Coleman, a partner at Menlo Park, California-based Mohr Davidow Ventures, told the Senate Energy Committee on March 17. “If we don’t move forward urgently, I’m concerned that we will not only cede the current opportunity, but we’ll lose the knowledge and the experience necessary to compete.”

…After the Soviet Union in 1957 launched the beach ball- sized Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, President Dwight Eisenhower set up the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to energize the space program and take the lead from the Soviets. President John F. Kennedy set the goal of landing a man on the moon, and by 1965 NASA’s annual budget reached the equivalent of $37 billion in 2011 dollars.

China will invest about twice that in clean-energy projects each year for a decade in a 5 trillion-yuan program aimed at steering the economy away from fossil fuels, under a five-year plan announced last month. CDB loans are expanding the manufacturing base, driving down the cost of the renewable- energy equipment it exports.

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