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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!"
"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 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.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.