$27.4 Billion Cut in Funding for Energy and Environment Programs Proposed by White House

On January 15, 2021, E&E news reported that President Trump had requested Congressional approval to cut funding for 73 federal programs. The proposed cuts target the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI) among other agencies. At the DOE, President Trump proposed a $392 million cut to the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program and a $2.1 billion cut to the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy which would entirely eliminate the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. The proposal would also cut $800 million from EPA, halving the budgets of both their categorical grant programs and the Office of Research and Development. At NOAA, $285 million would be cut from programs on climate research, a water resources cooperative institute, and the Sea Grant program which the request argues is outside the scope of the agency. DOI would also see a smaller, $23 million cut from its Heritage Partnership Program. 

While awaiting a response from Congress, the funds can be frozen by the Trump Administration for 45 days or until a congressional decision is made. House Budget Chairman John Yarmouth (D-KY) and House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLaure (D-Conn) both criticized the request, calling it “damaging and irrational” and charging that it “shamefully targets energy research programs and environmental protection initiatives.”


Former President Trump's proposed budget cuts were not enacted as proposed above. President Joe Biden offered $14 billion in funding for programs to fight climate change in his FY2022 proposed budget. Biden's proposal included $11.1 billion in funding for the EPA (a 21.3% increase over the agency's FY2021 enacted budget), $10.2 billion for the National Science Foundation (a 20% increase over the agency's FY2021 enacted budget), and $46 billion, or a 10.2% increase in DOEs previous year enacted budget. Of the $11.1 billion designated for the EPA, $936 million is set to be spent on Environmental and Economic Justice Initiatives at EPA.