It comes as no surprise that Trump is all about pushing fossil fuels – or “beautiful clean coal,” as he calls it – but it still feels like a punch to the gut when you hear about his latest move. The President wants to slash funding from the Energy Department’s clean energy programs by a whopping 72 percent while cutting at least 230 jobs. After imposing a 30% tariff on solar panels made outside the US, it leaves little doubt about what Trump’s priorities are.
The Washington Post got their hands on a budget draft coming out of the White House, which details Trump’s vision for the Energy Department (hint: it doesn’t include much clean energy). While it’s important to note that this is just a jumping-off point, and negotiations will likely ultimately raise funding and jobs from the proposal, it is a stark reminder that Trump’s White House is all about partisan politics and not what’s best for the planet (or even the economy).
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) currently has a budget of $2.04 billion. The White House is asking for $575.5 million, with a staff cut from 680 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 an anonymous EERE employee to the Washington Post.
“The administration is ceding jobs to China and our other global trade competitors. The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s research, development, and commercialization programs play a critical role in helping ensure America leads both in inventing and deploying innovative clean energy solutions that power our nation and increase our competitive edge in the global market,” said Bluegreen Alliance in a statement.