Trump Seeks to Cut Energy Department Loan, Research Programs
by Timothy Cama (The Hill) The Trump administration Monday proposed significantly slashing a handful of controversial loan and research programs at the Department of Energy (DOE).
The cuts to programs meant to help develop innovative energy technologies, which President Trump outlined in his budget request for fiscal 2019, come after he proposed eliminating them all last year.
The Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program and the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) are widely popular among Democrats and some Republicans, and lawmakers worked to restore at least some of the funding last year after Trump sought to zero them out.
ARPA-E and the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program would be eliminated completely under Trump’s proposal, and the other programs would see big cuts.
“I think everybody who is in touch with reality will tell you that fossil fuels are going to continue to play a role in the future,” Perry told reporters. “Our goal is to produce it more cleanly. Our goal is to use American technology … to find new ways to develop this energy in the most environmentally sensitive ways that we can.” READ MORE
WHERE’S THE ENERGY? (Politico’s Morning Energy)
Cut EPA to 1990-level funding, Trump proposes (McClatchy Bureau DC)
Excerpts from Politico’s Morning Energy: While water, roads and airports all get special attention in the White House’s new infrastructure plan, the electric grid was largely ignored in the 55-page document the White House rolled out Monday – despite the system’s age and the challenges to building it. The plan says nothing about modernizing ailing electric transmission systems to account for factors such as the growth of natural gas, renewable power and electric vehicles, issues that have long been a focus of grid planners and a priority of the previous administration. “This plan ignores American energy and transportation needs of today – as well as tomorrow. It does not modernize our grid so we can reach more distributed energy. It does not plan for advanced vehicles to be on our roads,” said Grant Carlisle advocacy director of E2, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It is unfortunately just not a forward-looking document.”
Where the plan does touch on electric issues, it revives a proposal to sell off transmission facilities owned by the Energy Department’s power marketing administrations and the Tennessee Valley Authority. OMB thinks those sales would raise $7.4 billion for federal coffers over five years and encourage a more efficient transmission system. But when the White House floated the idea last year, it faced bipartisan opposition from senators worried it would increase power prices in a large swath of the West. The White House plan also calls for Congress to change the Federal Power Act to allow other federal agencies that participate in a FERC NEPA proceeding as a “cooperating agency” in an effort to streamline applications for interstate natural gas pipelines.
WHAT DID MAKE IT: President Donald Trump’s infrastructure proposal leans heavily on states, local governments and the private sector to foot most of its bill. The White House is calling for just $200 billion in federal funding, which it hopes will leverage $1.3 trillion in other investment over the next decade, but the pitch faces long odds on Capitol Hill. READ MORE