Balancing Politics and U.S. Energy Supply: One Renewable Energy Resource Gets Support from Both Sides of the Aisle

  • Tara Nielson
Keywords: Department of Energy, DOE, Hydrogen Program, national energy policy, California Power Authority


The debate over the U.S. Department of Energy’s fiscal year 2002 budget for the renewable energy Hydrogen Program demonstrates how industry, state programs, and government officials can affect policy making through the federal budget process. Funding for energy programs is controversial, as Democrats and Republicans typically disagree over the use of fossil versus renewable resources to satisfy the country’s energy needs. The Hydrogen Program, which funds research and development for renewable hydrogen energy technologies, receives support from both sides of the aisle. This article explains the reasons behind the unusual circumstances of this bipartisan support and discusses ways in which the current political climate may shape Hydrogen Program funding in the future.

Author Biography

Tara Nielson
Tara Nielson earned a Master’s of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University. Her field of concentration is Federal Policy, Politics and Management and her research focuses on energy and budget policies.