Trump would like to see clean tech burn like a lump of coal in the steamer. Credit: Daily Bail.

Trump wants to cut the DOE’s spending on renewable energy by 70%

Trump would like to see clean tech burn like a lump of coal in the steamer. Credit: Daily Bail.

Trump would like to see clean tech burn like a lump of coal in the steamer. Credit: Daily Bail.

According to a draft agency budget document obtained by Axios, the Presidential Administration intends on proposing a 70% cut for the Energy Department’s renewable and energy efficiency program. The news follows earlier reports of Trump’s budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in yet another blow to the environment and common sense. Previously, Trump proposed cutting the EPA’s budget by 31 percent, to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion, and to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs. A double castration of both the DOE’s renewable energy program and the EPA can only spell a rollback to ‘climate dark ages’, as promised by Trump all along.

A 70 percent year to year budget is unprecedented and way too extreme even for Trump. But as Amy Harder reported for Axios, this is actually a bully trick meant to aggressively lower down negotiation thresholds so that ultimately the final budget cut back will be very low (30 to 50 percent).

Proposed budget cuts for various DOE programs. ; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios.

Proposed budget cuts for various DOE programs. ; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios.

Cutting spending for renewable energy and energy efficiency is not only the wrong thing to do from an environmental perspective — it makes no economic sense whatsoever. As things stand today, clean tech like solar and wind are no longer fringe industries; far from it. I mean, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs 2.5 to 1 and exceed all jobs in gas and coal sectors by 5 to 1. Yes, that’s in the United States where somehow thanks to good oversight and leadership on behalf of the private sector, things are moving on very nicely. In many states, solar energy is cheaper than fossil fuel-derived energy even without subsidies.

Instead of supporting a growing sector, the Trump Administration is clinging to 20th-century tech, shadowed by obscure and vetted interests. A failed strategy that will only buy time for fossil fuel oligarchs like the Kochs and slow down American growth as other nations with more assertive and insightful leadership take the lead. China is investing $360 billion in renewable energy by 2020 — a sum equivalent to the United Arab Emirates GDP in 2015 — a measure which will provide new jobs for 13 million people. Fewer than 800,000 people are employed in non-hydro renewable energy in the United States today.

It’s not just the DOE and EPA that have been eyed out by Trump for being supportive of the climate and renewable energy in the past. As Science reports, other federal agencies faced with drastic cuts include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or NASA’s earth science budget.

These are generally dark times for the climate and environment but it’s exciting to hear about developments elsewhere. According to Think Progress “the world will invest an astonishing $3.4 trillion in solar alone by 2040 ”. Sure, Trump might ruin things for America but at least the rest of the world is doing nicely. You know you’re doing it wrong when the likes of China and India are taking the lead. 

The Trump Administration is expected to send its budget request for the fiscal year 2018 to Congress next week. Prepare for impending crazyness.

4 thoughts on “Trump wants to cut the DOE’s spending on renewable energy by 70%

  1. VendicarDecarian0

    Some are reporting that Trump will resign on Monday.

    i doubt it, because his ego is too large, but it would be good for a laugh. Pence would be just as bad though.

  2. cvxxx

    Actually defunding EPA might have the best outcome. As private companies see the profit they are pouring billions into new research. Every week new products are coming out Old ones are improved older ideas that could not be done at the time of their invention can now be accomplished. Hydrogen is now on it's way to being a power source as a new process making it easier and cost efficient. The interest is driven by many reasons at the end; it is realized that the old ways won't produce the amount of energy a high tech world requires. By using many different ways of production the world can avoid the problem of a singular monopoly on energy and energy production.

  3. Brian

    The fossils and nuclear industry can't compete on a level playing field anymore. Solar and wind are the cheapest available energy on the planet now. Before gov breaks. Fossils is losing even with 5.3T$ in gov breaks (IMF) and gov geopolitics focused on protecting fossils industry and reserves, including wars. Yet they are still losing. So Trump has to attack any and all gov help for renewable to save fossils and nuclear. It's the manly think to do. This is rule by the rich. Like it?

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