Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #253

By Ken Haapala, Science and Environmental Policy Project (www.SEPP.org)

Updated US Climate Change Financing: A recently uncovered report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides data on federal government financing of climate science and climate change activities. This prompted an update of estimates made several years ago, that were discussed in TWTW at the time. The CRS report covers FY 2008 to 2014, with FY 2014 as estimates based on the President’s FY2014 request. (Today, the fiscal year runs from October 1 of the prior year to September 30 of the stated year. For example, FY2017 would be from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017.). The report states:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and federal agencies have identified approximately $77 billion of budget authority available to federal agencies from Fiscal Years 2008 through 2013 for climate change activities. The large majority—more than 75%—funded technology development and deployment, mostly through the Department of Energy (DOE). More than one-third of the identified funding during this period was appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5), enacted February 17, 2009.

In general, agencies spend all their budget authority. The OMB is the source used for expenditure. The report covers several major federal initiatives which address climate: the US Global Change Research Program; the Clean Energy Technologies, formerly called the Climate Change Technology Program; International Climate Change Assistance, largely funding UN Groups such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and Climate Adaptation, Preparedness, and Resilience.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606). Its numbers grew from $1.728 Billion in FY 2001 to an estimate of $2.658 Billion in FY 2014, plus an additional 0.641 Billion with the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also called the Stimulus Bill.

The Clean Energy Technologies grew from $1.675 Billion in FY 2001 to an estimate of $7.933 in FY2014 plus an additional $25.499 Billion in the ARRA. International Climate Assistance grew from $218 Million in FY 2001 to $893 Million in FY 2014 and Adaptation grew from$0 in FY 2009 to $110 Million in FY2014

The total reported numbers also include OMB estimates of Energy Tax Provisions That May Reduce Greenhouse Gases which grew from $0 in FY2001 to an estimate of $9.839 Billion in 2014. Tax credits for alternative electricity generation such as wind and solar fall into this group.

The expenditure estimates were combined with earlier expenditure estimates from the Government Accountability Office to give an indication of approximate government expenditures on climate change since FY1993. The various categories were grouped into two: climate science and other.

From FY 1993 to FY 2014, the government reports show that annual spending on “climate science” grew from $1.306 Billion to $2.658 Billon, totaling $42.488 Billion. Of this total $0.641 Billion came with AARA (the “stimulus bill”). The increase in annual expenditures over the period was a bit over 200%. Over this period “Other” climate related expenditures (including tax credits) grew from $1.046 Billion to $8.936 Billion, totaling $104.289 Billion, with $25.499 Billion coming from ARRA. The increase in annual expenditures over the period was 850%.

Total expenditures for the period grew from $2.352 Billion to $11.594 Billion, for a total of $146.777 Billion with $26.140 Billion coming from ARRA. The increase in annual expenditures was 490%.

The amount going to international assistance, UN groups, grew from $201 Million to $893 Million in 2014, a growth in annual expenditures 440%. The UN groups focus on global warming occurring at the surface, surface-air temperatures, and largely ignore atmospheric warming, where the greenhouse gas effect occurs.

When the budgets for FY 2015 & FY 2016 of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) are included, the total expenditures for “climate science” from FY 1993 to FY 2016 come to $47.561 Billion with international assistance amounting to $8.240 Billion.

As with UN groups, the USGCRP does not consider atmospheric warming as important. Yet, according to the 1979 National Academy of Sciences “Charney Report”, the greenhouse gas warming occurs in the atmosphere. Since the advent of comprehensive satellite measurements almost 40 years ago, atmospheric warm is slight, and can be explained as from natural causes.

The CRS report also gave the total annual expenditures of climate change in constant 2012 dollars, but the GAO report did not give constant dollars. The index used by the CRS was not available on the web, so the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was used to adjust GAO numbers to 2012 constant dollars. To assure a reasonable adjustment, several calculations were double-checked with CRS numbers. The error in the match sets was less than 1%.

In 2012 dollars, expenditures for climate change grew from $3.740 Billion in 1993 to $11.112 Billion in 2014, for a total of $166.530 Billion from FY 1993 to FY 2014. The growth in expenditures was 297%, or almost 300%. Note that estimates for “Other” climate expenditures were not available for FY 2015 & FY 2016, so the total amount could not be calculated to include those years.

By way of comparison, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the entire Apollo program, from 1962 to 1973 with 17 missions, and 7 of them sending men to the moon and returning them cost $170 Billion, in 2005 Dollars. Using the CPI this works out to be about $200 Billion in 2012 dollars. In “fighting” climate change, the US is spending almost as much as it did on all the Apollo missions, without examining the correct data. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.


Number of the Week: As stated above, the 2009 “stimulus bill” contained $26.140 Billion in federal government funding on climate related activities. Such spending provided few “shovel ready” jobs.


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