WASHINGTON – President Trump will seek dramatic cuts in funding for clean energy research and development, according to a report today by Bloomberg News. EWG said it is a scheme that is dead on arrival, because the clean energy revolution has wide support in even the most conservative parts of the nation.
Bloomberg said the Trump administration’s 2020 federal budget request will call for slashing funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, from its current level of $2.3 billion to $700 million, or roughly 70 percent. The budget request is expected to be released Monday.
“President Trump’s annual attack on clean energy research is a brazen ploy to gin up support from the fossil fuel industry,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “This latest attempt to roll back the clean energy revolution will fail. Even members of Congress who represent deep red districts and states understand how important the renewable energy sector is to the economy.”
Among the states that generate the most wind power are Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas. More than a third of California’s retail energy sales in 2018 came from renewable energy sources.
The DOE’s efficiency and renewables office was created in response to the energy crisis of the early 1970s. The office has played a critical role in supporting clean energy, through funding research that has sparked dramatic advances in wind, solar and geothermal energy, as well as electric cars and LED lighting.
The office also oversees operations at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., and provides funding for all 12 of the DOE’s national laboratories.
The president’s request to slash the office’s budget will almost certainly be rejected by the Democratic-controlled House. The Trump administration sought similar reductions in funding for the renewable energy office in its budget proposal for this year but failed to gain support from Congress.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.