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Since 2009, the Department of Energy has invested $1.1 billion in 11 projects to show how carbon dioxide emissions from coal-power and industrial facilities could be captured and stored.
DOE initially committed to 8 coal projects, mostly new power plants with carbon-capture equipment.
Since 2004, the federal government has offered a tax credit that supports the production of refined coal, which could help reduce air pollution. Producers claimed nearly $9 billion in these credits since 2010.
Research and development has been essential in the Department of Energy's efforts to clean up significant contamination from decades of nuclear weapons production, but over time DOE has reduced funding designated for cleanup R&D.
There are about 86,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors stored at 75 U.S. sites. This amount continues to grow. Policymakers have been at an impasse over what to do with the spent fuel since the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository stopped in 2010.
The Department of Energy has the difficult task of cleaning up hazardous and radioactive waste from energy research and nuclear weapons production dating to World War II. This report describes the estimated cost of this future cleanup—DOE's environmental liability—and related issues.
Hurricanes are a leading cause of major power outages in the U.S., impacting millions of customers in recent years. Utilities in hurricane-affected states have invested in ways to better equip their grids to withstand and rapidly recover from hurricanes.