Trump Administration Again Proposes Cuts to Clean Energy Programs

by | Mar 12, 2019

The Trump Administration’s proposed 2020 budget again calls for reductions in climate research and renewable energy programs.

For the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the administration is proposing a 31%, or $2.8 billion, cut. If the past predicts the future, Congress will reject the proposed cuts.

Even so, the budget proposal has many in the clean energy space concerned. Grant Carlisle, advocacy director of the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) issued the following statement:

“This administration still does not get it. For the third time, they have put forth an anti-innovation budget which would put the U.S. at a disadvantage when competing with other countries for new technologies. The effects of these cuts, if allowed to become law would be simple: thousands of U.S. businesses and millions of clean energy jobs at risk. Congress should reject this proposal immediately. Not doing so hurts businesses, workers, consumers – and the future of American leadership in clean energy innovation.”

And, according to the Washington Post, Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement: “In the face of a nationwide drinking water contamination crisis, a broken chemical safety net, and devastating hurricanes and wildfires, a rational and concerned president would seek more funding to protect Americans’ health, keep our environment clean, and combat the threat of catastrophic climate change. President Trump did just the opposite.”

Last year, the administration proposed a budget that would do the following:

  • Slashes 66% of the budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which studies advanced transportation, wind and solar energy.
  • Eliminates the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a program popular in Congress.
  • Cuts the department’s loan guarantee programs, although the existing portfolio would be maintained.
  • Terminates construction of a mixed-oxide nuclear fuel fabrication facility in South Carolina that has the support of Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.).
  • A 17.5% boost for the department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which makes up nearly half the department’s budget.
  • The administration is also seeking to sell electric transmission assets of federally-owned utilities in the northwestern United States.
  • These moves represent Trump’s wish to shift energy department priorities from renewable energy research to fossil fuels and nuclear weapons.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.


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