Earlier this week, President Barack Obama submitted his 2014 budget that calls for nearly a 50 percent increase (to $2.7 billion) in research funding for clean energy and renewable technology research.   The White House also proposed closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies.

During a press conference, Obama announced that his budget will “continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change.”  He added that cCorporate profits are at an all-time high but we have to get wages and incomes rising, as well.”

Members of both parties on Capitol Hill are also exploring an alternative proposal to the president which would provide incentives for businesses, homeowners, and government agencies to adopt energy efficient processes, and technologies.  For instance, Republicans and Democrats are exploring tax breaks for companies and individuals who install energy efficient appliances inside their buildings and homes.

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Given the success of the administration’s “Cash for Clunkers” program under Obama’s first term, where consumers were given government funds to exchange old, polluting vehicles for new automobiles with less emissions, passage of a green-friendly legislation is expected to be a boon for energy manufacturers.  Some lenders, including Safe Bidco, are even beginning to offer business loans specifically for energy efficiency upgrades.  Similarly, manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, and next generation transformers should see increased revenues.

Under Obama’s budget proposal for 2014, $200 million would be allocated in a “Race to the Top” type of program where the federal government would reward state governments for policies that “[modernize] utility regulations to encourage cost-effective investments in efficiency, including combined heat and power and demand response resources, and in clean distributed generation …”

However, some conservatives remain skeptical of the White House’s overtures toward American energy independence.  The Obama administration still has not approved construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline which would transport tar sands oil from Canada into refineries in the Gulf Coast.