In President George Bush?s 2006 budget blueprint released this week, ?clean? coal technologies would receive $286 million?$13 million more than 2005 levels, according to the budget summary. The lion?s share of that, $218 million, would be spent on research and development of cleaner coal technologies, including ones that attempt to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions in the ground (carbon sequestration). The ?hydrogen fuel initiative,? geared toward developing technologies ?to produce, store, and distribute hydrogen for use in fuel-cell vehicles, electricity generation, and other applications,? would receive $260 million. In addition, the upcoming budget plan requests $651 million for the Yucca Mountain Project. That is $74 million more than the program received last year, according to Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen?s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. Bush is also asking taxpayers to further subsidize nuclear power by seeking $56 million for the Nuclear Power 2010 program, in which taxpayers pay half the cost of applying for licenses to site and build new nuclear reactors. Last year, Bush requested $10 million for the 2010 program, according to Public Citizen. Bush?s proposed budget also would cut the Department of Energy?s energy-efficiency program by $21 million?a 2 percent reduction. ?Studies demonstrate that every dollar invested in DOE-administered energy efficiency R&D returns $20 to the nation?s economy,? said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. Proposed funding for solar energy in the 2006 budget cycle is $83.95 million, compared to $85.07 million in the last budget, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. However, the budget request specifies $4.5 million for a new industry-led Crystalline Silicon Initiative, which could improve crystalline silicon manufacturing.