A Senate panel speaks for sound clean energy policy - and rebukes Trump

Brookings: Something has changed in Congress’ dealings with the Trump administration. The effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act foundered. New sanctions on Russia were passed despite President Trump’s objections. Senators from both sides of the aisle proposed legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s independent and ongoing investigation of Russian meddling. An immigration proposal appeared to be dead on arrival after being immediately shot down by leading Republicans. But amidst all of the high-profile political developments, a dramatic example of legislative pushback in clean energy policy received too little attention. Recently, the Senate Committee on Appropriations issued a bipartisan report on the FY18 Budget for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) leads this committee, which it turns out has now set out a completely different clean energy agenda than the President’s proposed budget. Recall that the Trump administration’s budget for DOE calls for massive funding cuts to high-profile clean energy projects, including the elimination of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and huge gouges into the budgets of numerous renewable and energy efficiency programs.

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