February 1, 2018 / 12:28 AM / 20 days ago

White House to propose 72 percent cut to clean energy research - report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House will ask Congress next month for a 72 percent cut to research programs on clean energy and energy efficiency in fiscal 2019, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing draft budget documents.

The Trump administration is pursuing a so-called energy dominance policy that seeks to boost production and exports of oil, natural gas, and coal.

The Department of Energy had asked the White House for more modest spending cuts to the programs on advancing wind and solar power and efficiency technologies, but the executive branch’s Office of Management and Budget wanted deeper cuts, the report said.

The White House and the Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the report.

The budget is primarily a political document and is not likely to be embraced by Congress, but it represents a starting point for the administration on negotiations.

Spending at the DOE’s energy efficiency and renewable energy was set at $2.04 billion in the 2018 fiscal year. The Trump administration had asked the spending to be cut to $636 million, a request that Congress did not approve.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio

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