Energy Department to cut research budget

Fuel Fix:
Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended President Donald Trump's proposal to slash funding for energy research programs Tuesday as necessary to reduce the government's budget deficit.

During a budget hearing with members of the House Appropriations Committee, Perry said the budgets cuts were necessary to preserve spending for modernizing the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal and other "key missions."

"This budget proposal makes some difficult choices, but it is paramount we execute our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer," Perry told the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Tuesday.

RELATED: Trump's budget a mixed bag for the energy sector

The Trump administration is proposing an 18 percent cut to research programs at the Department of Energy, with renewable energy and energy efficiency facing more than 60 percent cuts. The Advanced Research Projects Administration-Energy, which funds a number of research projects at Texas A&M and other scientific institutions in Texas, would be eliminated all together.

Those cuts have drawn sharp criticism from Democrats, and many Republicans as well. In the aftermath of Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, many fear U.S. research into clean energy will fall behind competitors abroad.

The president's proposal would result in the loss of 11,000 "technical experts" across the department's national laboratories, said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, ranking member on the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the appropriations committee.
Government energy research has spent billions and has little to show for it.  It was people in the private sector who developed the shale revolution that has freed the US from OPEC price gouging.  These researchers have failed to develop a means of modulating the flow of energy in order to meet varying demands for electricity when using wind or solar.  It is a key failure that is rarely discussed because these alternative energy models are such a small part of the electricity generated.

Those pushing for the continued funding of these programs need to prove they are something beyond boondoggles for special interests and Big Green.


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