Omnibus Ignores Trump Budget Effort To Slash Clean Energy Research

Under the $1.3 trillion Omnibus spending bill, the Department of Energy will continue to fund clean energy research – an effort President Trump wanted to eliminate.

President Trump’s budget proposal wanted to end clean energy research by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) but Congress ignored the president.

Not only did ARPA-E survive, it got a boost in funding.

Vox reports:

The Department of Energy’s high-risk, high-reward research incubator, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, can also breathe easy. Trump’s budget proposal recommended eliminating the popular program, but Congress gave it a $47 million boost up to $353 million.

The DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office, which the White House wanted to gut by $1.3 billion, also got a 15 percent increase to a new total of $2.3 billion.

Energy research supported by the Department of Energy resulted in a spectacular waste of taxpayer money in the Obama Administration. Does anyone remember the $535 million loan default by Solyndra?

Overall, the Department of Energy did very well with the Omnibus spending bill.

Science reports:

For researchers supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C., a 6-month wait for a federal budget may have been worth it. DOE’s basic research wing, the Office of Science, gets a 16% boost, to $6.26 billion, in a 2018 omnibus spending bill passed by Congress this week. In contrast, last May President Donald Trump’s administration had proposed a 17% cut in its budget for the fiscal year that ends on 30 September.

As the funding of the Department of Energy and ARPA-E illustrates, the D.C. swamp is alive and well.