By Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson
1 February 2018

(The Washington Post) – The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Many of the sharp cuts would probably be restored by Congress, but President Trump’s budget, due out in February, will mark a starting point for negotiations and offer a statement of intent and policy priorities.

The document underscores the administration’s continued focus on the exploitation of fossil fuel resources— or, as Trump put it in his State of the Union address, “beautiful clean coal” — over newer renewable technologies seen as a central solution to the problem of climate change.

The Energy Department had asked the White House for more modest spending reductions to the renewable and efficiency programs, but people familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share unfinished budget information, said the Office of Management and Budget had insisted on the deeper cuts.

The cuts would also be deeper than those the Trump administration sought for the current fiscal year but was unable to implement because of the budget impasse in Congress. The federal government has been operating on a series of continuing resolutions that have maintained existing spending. The current continuing resolution expires 8 February 2018.

Trump extols the virtue of 'clean, beautiful coal' and other fossil fuels at a rally in Pensacola, Florida on 8 December 2018. Photo: The Washington Post

Spending for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is set at $2.04 billion for the current fiscal year, which ends 1 October 2018. Last year, the administration asked for st $636.1 million, a decline of more than two-thirds, although Congress did not implement the request. For 2019, the administration’s draft proposal would lower that request even further, to $575.5 million.

The document also suggests substantial staff cuts, down from 680 in the enacted 2017 budget to 450 in 2019.

“It shows that we’ve made no inroads in terms of convincing the administration of our value, and if anything, our value based on these numbers has dropped,” said one EERE employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal budget information. [more]

White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration’s preference for fossil fuels

1 comments :

  1. Anonymous said...

    "clean beautiful coal" - this man is beyond clueless. He exemplifies "STUPID" in capital letters. As a president, he's been an absolute disaster.  

 

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