White House to ask for 72 percent cut in renewable energy programs: report

White House to ask for 72 percent cut in renewable energy programs: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Seth McFarlane: Fox News makes me 'embarrassed' to work for this company  'Art of the Deal' co-author: Trump would act like Kim Jong Un if he had the same powers MORE’s administration is reportedly seeking a 72 percent cut to the budget of Department of Energy programs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post show the Trump administration will ask for $575.5 million in spending for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The office’s current spending level is set at $2.04 billion for the fiscal year.

Last year, Trump sought $636.1 million in spending for the office, which Congress later rejected in support of higher numbers.

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The Post reports the draft budget documents also seek staffing cuts to the office, reducing the number of workers from 680 in the 2017 budget to 450 in 2019.

In a statement to the Post, the White House said it would not comment “on any leaked or pre-decisional documents prior to the release of the official budget.”

The office conducts research, development, grants and more aimed at developing and deploying energy efficiency and renewable technology and has played a key role in dramatically reducing the costs of solar power.

The draft documents obtained by the Post also contain sharp reductions in research spending, including an 82 percent cut to research on fuel efficient vehicles, an 82 percent cut on research into bioenergy technologies and a 78 percent cut for solar energy technology research.

It would also slash funding for research into alternative energy sources like wind, hydro and geothermal power.

Trump’s proposed budget is set to be unveiled in February.