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Ben Geman Mar 22
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Congress rebuffs Trump on green energy cutbacks

A field of solar panels in Germany. Photo: Lukas Schulze / Getty Images

The newly-released Capitol Hill government spending plan rejects the White House's push to sharply cut renewable energy R&D and kill an Energy Department program that seeds breakthrough technology innovation.

Why it matters: There's little GOP appetite on Capitol Hill for the White House's energy spending agenda, even as Republicans largely support the Trump administration's efforts to unwind regulations and expand fossil fuel development.

A few numbers: The sweeping fiscal year 2018 spending plan would . . .

  • Provide over $2.3 billion for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, an increase over current levels that rejects the White House's proposal to cut funding by two-thirds.
  • Provide $353 million for DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency — a roughly $48 million boost that bats aside the White House effort to end the program that's popular on both sides of the aisle.
  • Increase funding for DOE's fossil energy arm to roughly $727 million, in contrast to the White House request for a cut in its fiscal year 2018 request. The Office of Fossil Energy includes work to develop low-carbon coal tech.
  • DOE's Office of Science would see an $868 million boost to $6.26 billion, per Science Magazine — instead of the 15% cut the White House wanted.

Our thought bubble: While the White House budget plan is always DOA, it nonetheless helps to set parameters around decisions. So that's one reason — though hardly the only one — that advocates for a huge increase in clean tech R&D spending won't have traction anytime soon.

Go deeper: This Washington Examiner piece looks at EPA funding and the bill's mandate for another round of sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Go way deeper: You can read the whole 2,232 page, $1.3 trillion federal spending bill here.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to compare the omnibus to the White House's FY 2018 proposal and not FY 2019 proposal.

Axios 4 hours ago
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Shannon Vavra 6 hours ago
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Students mark Columbine’s 19th anniversary with nationwide walkouts

Students walk towards the Capitol in D.C. holding signs reading "Enough is enough" with drawings of a gun.
Students walk towards the Capitol April 20, 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Nineteen years ago today, at 11:19 am, high school students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and opened fire. They killed 12 students and a teacher, injured 23 others, and killed themselves in the library just after noon. Five hours passed before the situation was under control.

Fast forward: Starting at 10am today, students across the nation, including those from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, have been staging more than 2,600 walkouts to honor the 19th anniversary of the massacre and demand action from lawmakers on gun legislation, according to the National School Walkout organizer’s web site.