[https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/16/77/02/20705431/9/rawImage.jpg

WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans in Congress generally agree that the federal government needs to put more funding into researching clean energy technology, with the goal of tapping into a growing global market driven by climate change.

But when it comes to actual numbers, that’s where the debate begins.

On Thursday Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm went before the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee to sell the Biden administration’s plan to quadruple federal spending on clean energy research by the end of their first term, as they seek to decarbonize the U.S. power sector by 2035 and get the United States to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid century.

“These investments will develop and deploy technologies that will deliver a clean energy revolution,” Granholm testified. “As our economic competitors race ahead, we need to put a lot more resources behind this effort because they see that $23 trillion market and they’re going after it as well.”

So far, the Biden administration has only released preliminary budget numbers for fiscal year 2022, with plans to increase the Department of Energy’s budget 10 percent to $46.2 billion. That include $8 billion for research into clean energy technologies including advanced nuclear reactors, electric vehicles and hydrogen energy, a 27 percent increase over this year’s budget. The administration also wants to increase funding to the Office of Fossil Energy, towards expanding carbon capture technology on industrial facilities, as well as removing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.

Already they are seeing pushback from Republicans concerned both the president’s budget is too large and clean energy increases are coming at the expense of national security.

“Based on the information we have now, there are some proposals that could garner bipartisan support, but there are some that give cause for concern,” said Rep. Michael Simpson, R-Idaho. “I don’t see a single mention of cybersecurity despite a series of high profile cyberattacks.”

Biden’s goal is to bring clean energy costs down to the point the United States and other nations can decarbonize without economically damaging increases in energy costs. At the same time he hopes the U.S. will be building the solar panels and advanced batteries the world needs, cutting into China’s dominance in the field and growing jobs for Americans.

To that end, the administration has pledged 40 percent of clean energy investment flow to disadvantaged communities that have historically born the brunt of pollution. In Thursday’s hearing, Granholm highlighted efforts to develop critical mineral mining and geothermal energy, which she said would create jobs in “coal communities” that have suffered with the rise of clean energy.

The belief is that by broadening the number of people who benefit from the shift to clean energy, support for climate change policies will grow. But so far, it’s unclear how far Republicans are willing to go in supporting that endeavor, said Arjun Krishnaswami, of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“It’s clear there is bipartisan support for innovation at a high level. We saw that when Congress passed the Energy Act last year.  But the question is will there be support for the level of spending we need,” he said. “It’s critical to have more people and a more diverse range of people seeing themselves in these federal programs.”

So far, Biden is seeing support from progressive members of his own party, for whom climate change is a top priority.

“Climate change threatens every aspect of life as we know it,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn, chair of the House Appropriations Committee. ” With President Biden’s funding request, we are taking steps to provide a better, safer and cleaner future.”