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White House Seeks Steep Cuts to Renewable Energy Research

The White House's budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 includes a 72 percent cut to the Department of Energy's renewable energy research programs, the Washington Post reports.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's current budget is set at just over $2 billion, but, according to the draft proposal obtained by the Post, the Trump administration would have that slashed to just $575.5 million with significant cuts to the office's staff as well. Under the proposed budge, research on electric and fuel efficient vehicles, bioenergy, and solar energy would see cuts of 78 percent or more.

The Trump administration has long favored fossil fuels over renewable sources of energy, and the leaked document comes on the heels of President Donald Trump's decision to implement steep tariffs on imported solar panel equipment.

The final draft of the budget may change before the February deadline, and it's unlikely the steep cuts will become a reality: Congress gets the final say on the government's budget when it passes appropriations bills. However, Congress has yet to pass an appropriations bill for the current fiscal year, instead passing a series of continuing resolutions to keep the government running. The current resolution expires next week.