The Trump administration is looking to slash the Department of Energy’s renewable energy budget again.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is the part of the DoE that supports clean, renewable, and more efficient energy technology. It supports programs that help bring plug-in electrified vehicles to the road as well as alternative fuels like natural gas. It also helps research, develop, and deploy biofuels, solar, geothermal, and wind power.

Spending for the EERE was set at $2.72 billion for fiscal year 2017. The Trump administration asked for that budget to be cut to just $636.1 million for fiscal year 2018. Congress did not implement that request, and the office received a budget of $2.04 billion for this year.

Now, according to budget draft documents obtained by The Washington Post, the administration is attempting to slash spending even further to just $575.5 million for the 2019 fiscal year, a 72 percent reduction.

“It shows that we’ve made no inroads in terms of convincing the administration of our value, and if anything, our value based on these numbers has dropped,” an EERE told The Post under the condition of anonymity.

SEE ALSO:Trump Wants To Cut DOE Funding Supporting EVs and Energy Efficiency

The new budget would cut spending on research into fuel-efficient vehicles, bioenergy, advanced manufacturing and solar energy all by more than 75 percent. The draft document would see electric car and fuel efficient vehicle funds cut to $56 million from $307 million.

The move would be a double blow to solar energy. The report comes just a week after the announcement of a new 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. The EEER is responsible for the SunShot program that was launched in 2011 to reduce to cost of solar energy to be competitive with traditional generation. That goal was achieved late last year, but the new tariff and budget cuts could negatively affect the progress made.

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit dedicated to protecting health and the environment spoke out against the draft budget. EWG President Ken Cook called it a sledgehammer to investments in the clean energy economy.

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise from a president who thinks coal is both beautiful and clean,” said Cook. “President Trump seems incapable of backing winners over losers, and that is no more apparent than with these proposed cuts to vital renewable energy research. It’s a craven attempt to please his pals in the coal industry and the hardcore base of voters who buy into the fairy tale that he’s going to bring back coal mining jobs.”

In November, an analysis of federal government data by EWG showed that at least 75 coal and nuclear units are expected to shutter in the next three years.

“Who knew the ‘new American moment’ would look so much like 1850,” Cook added.

The President doesn’t set the budget, the office just submits a budget request to Congress. The submission is referred to the House and Senate Budget Committees where extensive changes and revisions can take place. Which means that the cuts are a suggestion, not a guarantee. The federal budget is due this month.

The Washington Post