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Climate change

Trump allegedly wants to cut research funding for clean energy by 72 percent

February 1, 2018

A new report claims that the White House is still determined to slash government spending on clean-energy innovation.

The news: The Washington Post reports that Trump’s administration will ask Congress to cut the budget for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from $2.04 billion to just  $575.5 million in the 2019 fiscal year.

More of the same: Trump has a history of championing fossil fuels—or “beautiful clean coal,” to borrow his words. He tried to cut the office’s budget before, but disagreements in Congress meant preexisting spending has been maintained until now.

Some good news: Chances are, Congress won’t allow such dramatic funding cuts.

Some bad news: The threats demonstrate that Trump remains skeptical of clean-energy initiatives and government agencies working on related R&D. The aggressive positioning suggests that deal-making will all but guarantee cuts—we just don’t know how big.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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