Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump Plans to Slash Renewable Energy Budget by 70%

Popular

By Andrea Germanos

The Trump administration is planning to put the U.S. Department of Energy's budget for its renewable energy and energy efficiency program on the chopping block with a proposal to slash it by 70 percent.


That's according to a draft 2018 budget proposal obtained by Axios.

It shows $613 million for sustainable transportation in 2017, but just $184 million for 2018—a nearly 70-percent drop. There was $451 million for renewable power in the budget for 2017 but $134 million proposed for 2018—a 70-percent drop. There was $762 million for energy efficiency in 2017 and $160 proposed for 2018. That's a 79-percent drop.

In total, the data obtained by Axios show that U.S. Department of Energy's office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy budget went from $2,073 million in 2017 to a proposed $636 million for 2018, which marks a nearly 70-percent decrease.

The news outlet's Amy Harder writes that the plan is unlikely to get congressional approval but is important nonetheless, as "[i]t puts a low marker down to negotiate with Congress. The lower the starting point, the lower the ultimate numbers could well end up."

Rep. Keith Ellison reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: "Cutting renewable energy by 70% will not only cost us jobs, it will worsen public health & hurt our environment!"

A recent analysis of U.S. Department of Energy data by the Sierra Club backs up the Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair's claim about the job costs.

"Clean energy jobs, including those from solar, wind, energy efficiency, smart grid technology and battery storage, vastly outnumber all fossil fuel jobs nationwide from the coal, oil and gas sectors. That includes jobs in power generation, mining and other forms of fossil fuel extraction," the conservation group found.

Nationwide, "clean energy jobs outnumber all fossil fuel jobs by over 2.5 to 1; and they outnumber all jobs in coal and gas by 5 to 1," the group wrote.

The U.S. Department of Energy's offices for nuclear power and fossil-fuel energy, would also be cut, Axios also reported, though by a smaller margin—31 percent and 54 percent respectively.

The new reporting comes as the U.K.-based accounting firm Ernst & Young's most recent Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index shows that the U.S. has fallen from the top spot to number three. It's a less attractive to market to invest in renewables thanks in part to President Donald Trump's order to gut his predecessor's Clean Power Plan.

"A marked shift in U.S. policy has resulted in the demise of the Clean Power Plan, which has made renewable investors more nervous about possible reductions to the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit. Concerns also include if gas prices continue to remain low and transmission capacity remains stagnant," the index states.

The most attractive market is now China, with India coming in at number two.

And those two countries, Climate Action Tracker said Monday, "are set to overachieve their Paris agreement climate pledges." Trump, meanwhile, has aimed a "wrecking ball" at the climate.

"The highly adverse rollbacks of U.S. climate policies by the Trump administration, if fully implemented and not compensated by other actors, are projected to flatten U.S. emissions instead of continuing on a downward trend," said professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less
A woman walks to her train in Grand Central Terminal as New York City attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus through social distancing on March 27. John Lamparski / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
polaristest / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Spinach is a true nutritional powerhouse, as it's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Jeff Turrentine

From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.

Read More Show Less