You might think, like me, that the primary focus of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is, well, energy. Like me, you would be wrong. Scanning the DOE's proposed (brought forward under the Bush administration, not yet approved and likely to be altered substantially under the Obama administration) budget for 2009 brings some interesting things to light. The largest single line item in the $25.014 billion budget proposal is $6.618 billion for oversight and management of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Add in other defense-related nuclear programs and the total jumps to $9.097 billion. The U.S. may not be the powerhouse it once was but DOE is the most well armed governmental department in the world. Surely then, the second largest expenditure is on energy. Well, not really. The second largest DOE item in the proposed 2009 budget is $6.209 billion, primarily for environmental management and civilian radioactive waste management. Well, energy has got to be the third largest item in the budget. Nope, that would be a nebulous line item for "science" totaling $4.722 billion. Jimmy Cricket, where does energy fall? Fourth, at $3.936 billion. That money breaks out as follows: $1.255 for energy efficiency and renewable energy (down 27.1% from the 2008 budget); $134 million for electricity delivery and energy reliability (off 3.3% from 2008); $1.127 billion for fossil fuel (up 24.6% from 2008); and $1.419 for nuclear energy (up 37.3% over 2008). The balance of the budget(slightly more that $1 billion) is management. If you think a U.S. Federal department charged with energy oversight and development that budgets just less than 16% for energy is lame, I agree. If you think spending 36% of that same department's budget overseeing a nuclear weapons stockpile is lame, I agree again. If you think, under the U.S. governmental system, that this budget is an aberration, you are wrong. The only sure thing about the proposed DOE budget is that it won't pass Congress in its current form. That doesn't mean there will be less spent on storing nuclear warheads or on environment issues. No, under the Obama administration, it means that the budget will grow, with greater funding for energy in general and renewable energy specifically. That is not a bad thing.