White House Plan for Clean Energy Cuts Would Surrender American Jobs

Proposed 72 percent cut in investment would hurt workers in fast-growing industries

January 31, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – January 31, 2018) President Trump plans to propose a 72 percent cut in funding for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, according to a leaked draft of the DOE budget for fiscal year 2019.

According to published reports, the President’s proposal would cut the department’s budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs from more than $2 billion down to about $576 million. That 72 percent cut exceeds the aggressive 68 percent cut he proposed in his budget for fiscal year 2018 – a proposal that Congress has so far refused to adopt.

“President Trump is ordering a devastating blow to the clean energy revolution that employs millions of workers across America,” said Elgie Holstein, EDF’s Senior Director for Strategic Planning. “The research and development in clean energy and efficiency that’s being done at DOE is the cornerstone of our country’s efforts to develop the clean energy future we all want.”

Energy efficiency has remained consistent as the lowest-cost resource over the past decade, and wind and solar jobs are currently outpacing those in the coal and gas industry in 30 states, including D.C. However, the Trump Administration has repeatedly tried to favor fossil fuels over clean energy, including a recent attempt to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) help prop up the coal industry.

“Evidently, the President has learned nothing from his failed attempts to protect coal from competition in the marketplace,” said Holstein. “His administration tried, unsuccessfully, to get FERC to provide profit guarantees for the coal industry, and now he is trying a second time to cripple research and development work in support of renewable energy and efficiency.”

The President’s budget would also reportedly eliminate the Low-Income Weatherization program, which helps disadvantaged households reduce their heating and air conditioning bills.

The budget proposals are expected to be released on February 12, 2018.

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