Despite financial cuts in proposed legislation to fund the nation\u2019s energy infrastructure, a bill discussed in the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Sept. 6 increases subsidies for \u201cclean\u201d energy projects by 30 percent. The 2012 fiscal year bill provides $250 million to \u201caccelerate clean energy,\u201d said subcommittee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). She added that the amount is half of what the President requested. While any amendments to the $31.6 billion money bill are to be settled in full committee, the subcommittee disagreed on nuclear power spending. Feinstein included in the bill $584 million for the Office of Nuclear Energy \u201cto focus more on safety at the back end of the nuclear cycle.\u201d She said the nation \u201cneeds a strategy for dealing with spent nuclear fuel,\u201d and that this funding \u201ctakes the first step to require [the Department of Energy] to create a strategy for storing spent fuel.\u201d \u201cWhy should we pay for windmills and not nuclear power,\u201d asked Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). He argued that new nuclear power plants deserve funding, and that finding a method for permanently disposing of spent high-level radioactive fuel can wait. \u201cI see a difference between loan guarantees\u201d for renewables and funding a national spent fuel policy, responded Feinstein. \u201cWe\u2019re in the ring of fire. We have two big nuclear reactors in California. One is very close to a major American city.\u201d Since the nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi facility, Feinstein is one of the most vocal politicians calling for the U.S. to address radioactive waste in its reactor fleet\u2019s spent fuel pools, as well as a permanent storage plan. Other proposed appropriations include energy efficiency at $1.8 billion, the same as this year, and grid reliability at $141 million, also the same as 2011.