The President's R&D budget for fiscal years 1999 to 2003 is shaky, contends an analysis by the House Science Committee. Funding for the Administration's suggested $31 billion Research Fund for America, the report says, "is based on uncertain tax increases and uncollected money from the proposed tobacco settlement." If no tobacco settlement is reached, R&D will be "reduced substantially." The Research Fund, to be comprised mostly of existing programs, is part of the White House request to raise total R&D funding in real dollars for fiscal 1999 by 3% over current levels. For the other years, however, real spending would be less than fiscal 1998 levels, according to the analysis. In fiscal 2001--for the first time in 20 years--non-defense R&D would surpass defense R&D, and continue to rise.
The US Congress has extended an important tax credit for solar energy, a move that’s good news for future investments in this type of alternative energy and for many stakeholders in the solar industry.
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