Trump admin mulls deep cuts to clean energy programs

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018

The White House is considering a fiscal 2019 budget proposal that would cut funding by 72 percent for the Department of Energy’s renewables and energy efficiency programs from current levels.

The portion of the proposal viewed by E&E News would slash funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from an enacted level of about $2 billion for the current fiscal year to just $636 million in fiscal 2018 and a little more than $575 million in fiscal 2019.

The administration is also proposing to cut the number of full-time employees from 680 in the enacted 2017 levels to 458 in fiscal 2018 and to 450 in fiscal 2019.

The document also suggests substantial staff cuts — going from 680 in the enacted 2017 budget to 450 in fiscal 2019.

Congress pushed back last year against a host of proposed steep cuts to DOE programs in Trump’s initial budget request. The new draft proposal will serve as a starting point for broader discussions on Capitol Hill.

DOE didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Trump administration plans to release its fiscal 2019 budget proposal Feb. 12, according to the Office of Management and Budget (Greenwire, Jan. 24).