Report: White House planning deep cuts to DOE efficiency, renewables office
- More details on energy policy continue to trickle out of the White House, with Bloomberg reporting that an upcoming budget for the Department of Energy will cut $700 million or more from an office focused on clean energy technology.
- Currently funded at $2.1 billion, three sources told Bloomberg that the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) budget will be cut between $700 million and $1.4 billion.
- Details on President Trump's plans for energy policy have been slowly emerging since reports surfaced in January the administration was considering massive budget cuts at DOE. Initial rumors included fully eliminating EERE, the Office of Fossil Energy, and the Office of Electricity.
Executive orders to roll back the Clean Power Plan are still in the works, as President Trump's administration has focused so far on health care, defense and immigration. But news of budget cuts aimed at federal energy and environmental agencies are beginning to trickle out.
The administration wants to up defense spending by $54 million, and will pay for it by cuts in other areas. Just yesterday, reports surfaced the Trump Administration would move to "close out" or transfer the popular Energy Star program, a voluntary labeling initiative for manufacturers of efficient appliances that is maintained through the EPA.
Bloomberg's report that EERE's funding could be reduced from $2.1 billion by $700 million would seem to confirm January rumors that funding for some nuclear and advanced nuclear computing research could would also be rolled back to 2008 levels.
E&E News reported this week that a preliminary budget document proposes to slash funding from the Energy Star program, leaving just $5 million to "close out or transfer" the partnerships involved.
"EPA should begin developing legislative options and associated groundwork for transferring ownership and implementation of Energy Star to a non-governmental entity," a draft of a budget document said. "EPA should also explore similar transfer opportunities for the remaining partnership programs as well."
Federal officials declined to comment on the funding rumors. The President's budget is expected out next week.
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