Trump's budget proposal for the year 2019 was released later this Monday. It's no surprise that the proposal suggests significant budget cuts from the renewable energy industry.
The budget proposal suggests a $30.6 Billion budget for the Department of Energy. This is a slight improvement from the $30.1 allotted in 2017. However, most of the funds are reserved for the administration priorities such as modernizing the nuclear power plants and fossil fuel research. According to the Department of Energy, the proposal suggests:
- $2.5 Billion for energy and related programs-- $1.9 Billion less than 2017
- $696 million to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE),--$1.3 less than 2017
- Eliminating the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program altogether
- Energy Star will be converted to a fee-based program, meaning companies will have to pay to use the label
Clean energy and environmental advocates from all over the country criticized the Trump's budget proposal. The proposal dismisses climate change and the rapid advancements in the renewable energy sector.
Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters said: “This year Trump once again recommends gutting the agencies that protect our clean air, water, lands, and wildlife while adding an extreme rollback of our bedrock environmental laws disguised as an infrastructure plan.”
These budget cuts will not only harm the growth of the renewable energy sector in America but also have a deep impact on job creation, productivity, and economic growth. Grant Carlisle, advocacy director at Environmental Entrepreneurs, said the Trump budget proposal puts "businesses and millions of clean energy workers at risk."
"This budget is cutting costs by refusing to invest in the future," said Carlisle. “America can’t lead in clean energy or vehicle technologies if it ignores the fastest growing energy sources and punishes businesses developing them. U.S. companies can’t invest in new technologies if we don’t fund the research that takes them from demonstration to commercialization."
We will see how Congress reacts to the Trump's budget proposal. It is important to note that the budget deal signed by President Trump into law last week included support for a variety of renewable energy programs. Which means that the renewable energy sector can still benefit from those credits. It is also important to consider that last year lawmakers sidestepped many of the similarly proposed budget cuts by the Trump administration.
Even though our administration doesn’t see it that way, but we still view renewables as the energy of the future. Yellowlite is keeping a close eye on the situation and will keep you updated on the latest from the renewable energy industry.