Just How Small a Sliver is Energy Spending in Our National Budget? Energy R&D Spending is Dwarfed By Defense and Health Budgets Just How Small a Sliver is Energy Spending in Our National Budget? Energy R&D Spending is Dwarfed By Defense and Health Budgets
Social Innovation

Just How Small a Sliver is Energy Spending in Our National Budget? Energy R&D Spending is Dwarfed By Defense and Health Budgets

by Ben Jervey

March 11, 2011

Wake me when the so-called "deficit hawks" stop gutting our paltry energy spending and start talking about the Department of Defense.

Keep in mind: this is just R&D spending. If you can't make it out, the Third Way summary reads:

Federal investment in health and defense innovation has never faced the rollercoaster of uncertainty faced by energy. Over the past two decades, the government has invested $52 billion in energy, compared to $452 billion in health research and $1.3 trillion for defense. Public energy innovation funding dipped, then flat-lined beginning in 1998 while investment in health and defense increased by an average of $167 million a year. This has correlated into a 4% growth in the defense sector and 5% in health care compared to only 2.3% in energy in the U.S.

It's not that the energy industry doesn't have as powerful lobbyists as the defense and health industries. Rather, the energy industry lobbyists spend all their time, energy, and substantial funds fighting to maintain the fossil fuel-dominated status quo. (Except, again, nuclear.) Like I said, as conservatives shill on about the deficit, wake me when someone starts talking about serious cuts to defense.

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Just How Small a Sliver is Energy Spending in Our National Budget? Energy R&D Spending is Dwarfed By Defense and Health Budgets