Friday, February 06, 2009

Can Department of Energy Spend The Money Fast Enough?

There is about $40 billion proposed for Energy Department (DOE) programs in the economic-stimulus package. The question is: can it be spent fast enough to help get the economy going again? Bureaucracies by their very nature move slowly. The money has to go from the federal government to the states and that is another level of bureaucracy before bids can be let and contracts awarded. Although DOE might aspire to get the money into the economy faster, let's hope it goes better than the car loan money passed by Congress last year.

According to The Wall Street Journal: "[DOE] is already coming under pressure from some lawmakers to set a time line for dispersing a separate $25 billion in loans from an Energy Department program for the struggling automobile industry. Most of DOE's $25 billion annual budget is concentrated in maintaining the nation's nuclear stockpile, cleaning up former weapons plants and doing basic scientific research." So DOE will be handling about two times as much money extra money than it normally handles in its own annual budget.

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