A pretty inept, sorry way of fighting on behalf of American workers.
President Trump’s budget slashes investment in clean energy — the biggest new source of sustainable high-wage employment in the world.
In contrast, China’s latest five-year energy budget invests $360 billion in renewable generation alone by 2020. Beijing calculates the resulting “employment will be more than 13 million people.”
Trump’s self-proclaimed “America First” budget released (March 16) zeroes out key Department of Energy (DOE) clean-tech programs:
– the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which invests in innovative clean technology
– a program to improve manufacturing for clean cars, and
– the loan guarantee program, which jump-started large-scale U.S. solar deployment, the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, and companies like Tesla.
More on the budget proposal.
This is a “shock and awe” budget, designed to dazzle and confuse Trump’s political enemies and the general public. When Republicans on Capitol Hill dial back a few of its more extreme cuts, as is almost inevitable, the public will be expected to sigh with relief. That would be a mistake, since the result will almost certainly remain draconian.
Congressional Republicans will also demand cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Trump promised to defend those programs, but stay tuned: after ritual displays of ‘reluctance,’ followed by ‘negotiations,’ Trump will probably break that promise too.
Trump pretends to be a different kind of Republican, but his budget blueprint is ideologically consistent with the modern GOP’s hard-right extremism. It values death over life, and fear over hope. It tramples on the bonds that hold us together as one people. It sells off the environment, our shared inheritance. It rejects the fundamental American idea that a nation should be a community, a group of people who protect and look out for one another. It’s antagonistic to the very idea of government itself.
Yeah, well, who needs something that works really, really well, right?
Among the programs reported to be on the Trump administration’s chopping block: the popular, cheap, effective Energy Star consumer labeling program from the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The United States spends about $57 million a year on the Energy Star efficiency standards program. Under Energy Star, scientists create guidelines and test new consumer goods for efficiency — new washing machines, for instance. The programs most recently launched standard is for electric vehicle chargers, which gives some sense of how far-ranging and modern this program is.
It’s also a huge money-saver. Since it was established in the 1990s, the Energy Star program has saved U.S. consumers some $360 billion, mostly in electricity and water costs. According to a program report, consumers and business saved $31.5 billion in 2014 alone, while costs were about $57 million. That puts the return on investment for taxpayers at about 550 to 1.
(I did most of this post before Trump’s budget proposal was released. Energy Star is indeed on the kill list.)
I suppose every person of enlightened intelligence and sensibility will have her personal picks for the most appalling acts by the Trump Administration, out of a great, great many candidates, before this is over. This would without question be one of mine.
The Violence Against Women Act, which was passed in 1994, currently administers 25 grant programs aimed at helping women who become victims of violence. According to the Department of Justice website, those grants funnel money to programs “designed to develop the nation’s capacity to reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by strengthening services to victims and holding offenders accountable.” And based on a new report, they could be on the budgetary chopping block under Donald Trump’s administration…
Although it’s unclear how closely Trump’s team will follow the Heritage model, the choice to abolish federal VAWA grants — which put money toward teaching law enforcement how to respond to domestic violence and sexual assault, and providing resources for victims — could have consequences for women who are at risk. A report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that, in the decade-plus after the Violence Against Women Act passed, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States declined by 64 percent.
(New York Magazine)