Energy Efficiency, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables - February 1, 2018
White House to ask for 72% cut in RE budget
The Trump administration is expected to cut 72% of the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in their budget request to Congress for fiscal 2019.
According to a report in The Washington Post, which obtained a draft of the budget documents, the draft proposal calls for $575.5 million in spending for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, down from $2.04 billion for the current fiscal year. Research for fuel-efficient vehicles and bioenergy technologies would drop by 82% each, solar energy technology by 78%, and advanced manufacturing by 75%. Office staff would be reduced from 680 in the 2017 budget to 450 in 2019.
The report notes that “any 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 reflects the administration’s “continued focus on the exploitation of fossil fuel resources over newer renewable technologies seen as a central solution to the problem of climate change.”
These cuts are more extensive than the Trump administration requested for the current fiscal year, which were not implemented due to the budget impasse in Congress.
“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 to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal budget information.