The Trump administration is looking to make “severe” budget cuts to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, according to a new report.

Bloomberg reports the office would face a budget cut of roughly 70 percent, from $2.3 billion to $700 million, under President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request. The numbers come from “a department official familiar with the plan.” Trump is expected to introduce his budget request on Monday.

The report notes the president’s request is “unlikely” to be granted, though “the figure represents an opening bargaining position for negotiations by the White House.”
The Trump administration tried a similar cut last year. In his 2019 budget, Trump requested $696 million in funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which would have been a $1.3 billion cut. Congress instead granted the office $2.3 billion for 2019.
The Energy Department declined comment on the report. Mike Carr, a former EERE principal deputy assistant secretary under Obama, told Bloomberg the proposed budget is “a shutdown budget.” Carr said,
“That’s apparently what they want to signal to their base — they still want to shut these programs down.”

EERE

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says its mission is “to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy.” It lists the following as its strategic goals:
  • Accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable transportation technologies.
  • Increase the generation of electric power from renewable sources.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of our homes, buildings, and industries.
  • Stimulate the growth of a thriving domestic clean energy manufacturing industry.
  • Enable the integration of clean energy into a reliable, resilient, and efficient electricity grid.
  • Lead efforts to improve federal sustainability and implementation of clean energy solutions.
  • Enable a high-performing, results-driven culture through effective management approaches and processes.

Electrek’s Take

To say a robust EERE budget isn’t a priority under the Trump administration is an understatement. But Congress granted the office funding far above what Trump asked for last year — and that was before Democrats took the House. We’ll see where the 2020 EERE budget ultimately ends up, but there’s reason to believe it will still have solid support and funding.


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