Continuing his disastrous anti-environment crusade, Donald Trump is reportedly proposing to gut funding for renewable energy research programs by a stunning 72 percent.
According to a report from The Washington Post, “The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents.”
The proposed cuts are deeper than those put forward by Trump last year, even though the administration’s own Energy Department urged him not to make such drastic reductions.
The Post continues: “Spending for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is set at a $2.04 billion level for the current fiscal year, which ends Oct. 1. Last year the administration asked for just $636.1 million, a decline of over two-thirds, though Congress did not implement the request. For 2019, the administration’s draft proposal would lower that request even further to $575.5 million.
The news comes a day after Trump’s State of the Union address, when he continued to emphasize the use of fossil fuels instead of cleaner and renewable forms of energy that the Obama administration made a top priority.
“We have ended the war on American energy — and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal,” Trump said, with a straight face.
Though there was never a so-called war on coal under the previous administration, there is certainly a war on the environment and science-based public policy by the current one.
Trump’s proposed massive cut to critical funding for renewable energy research is just the latest in a series of steps this administration has taken to show it cares more about donations from the energy sector than combatting the very real threat of global climate change.
Over his first year in office, Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, opened sacred land for drilling, allowed coal companies to dump their sludge into American waterways, and even dropped climate change from a list of national threats.
This president has done so much to roll back key environmental protections that it’s hard to keep track. Luckily, National Geographic keeps a running tally of all the devastating actions the White House has taken to dramatically change U.S. environmental policy.
When people say Trump’s ignorant rhetoric and insane tweets don’t matter, they couldn’t be more wrong. Perhaps they had a point when he hosted a reality TV show or was just a candidate for the presidency.
Now he’s in the Oval Office, and the dangerous and ignorant thoughts that occupy his deranged mind are being used to shape all types of policy. Nowhere is that more evident than in his administration’s approach to the environment.
This will have devastating and lasting consequences for the United States and the world.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.