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article imageAdministration withholding nearly $1bn in clean energy funding

By Karen Graham     Feb 6, 2020 in Politics
Washington - The Trump administration is withholding nearly a billion dollars for a clean energy program it has unsuccessfully tried to cut, congressional Democrats said Wednesday, raising the specter of political interference.
At a Congressional hearing on Wednesday before the joint House Science and Space Committee’s oversight panel, committee chairman Democratic Representative Bill Foster of Illinois said the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) didn’t spend $823 million in funding appropriated by Congress last year.
The unspent funds amount to $823 million and are meant to provide grants and other financial assistance for alternative energy, electric vehicles, Research and Development, and energy efficiency, according to Gizmodo Earther.
Republican Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina said that while some "carry-over of funds" is "business-as-0usual," that's a lot of money to be withholding simply as carryover funding. The $823 million amounts to over a third of the EERE’s total budget.
“When Congress passes a budget, we expect that budget to be followed,” said Foster. “It’s unclear to many of us there has been a completely good-faith effort.”
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has a budget of $2.5 billion that President Donald Trump has been trying to cut since he was elected. Last year, Trump targeted the EERE with an 80 percent budget cut - only to see Congress increase its funding instead.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said in a statement that the delayed-funding was yet another example of “ideologically driven efforts that thwart action to combat climate” change.
“The magnitude of carryover funds is an indication of whether DOE is following congressional guidance and spending appropriated funds in a timely manner—and more carryover funds means less money from prior years is getting to clean energy innovators to do their work,” said Arjun Krishnaswami, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate and Clean Energy Program analyst, in his testimony.
More about department of energy, $823 million, Renewable energy, Climate change, R&d
 
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