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The Trump administration wants to cut the Energy Department's offices for nuclear power and fossil-fuel energy by 31% and 54%, respectively, according to a draft administration budget document viewed by Axios.

Why it matters: Top Trump administration officials have repeatedly said they back nuclear power and fossil fuels, in particular coal burned more cleanly with technology that captures and stores carbon underground instead of emitting it. These cuts show mismatch between the rhetoric and what they're willing to allocate.

Expand chart
Data: Draft of Energy Department budget; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

For the record: An Energy Department spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

What we're hearing: Some conservative groups say cutting funding for policies like cleaner-burning coal technologies would undercut Trump's promise to save the coal industry.

"It would be very difficult, especially on the carbon capture front, to keep some of the promises that the administration made to the coal community if it's not going very deep on innovation in this space," said Rich Powell, executive director of ClearPath Foundation, a conservative organization pushing cleaner energy technologies within the GOP.

To be sure: Congress is unlikely to grant these fiscal year 2018 requests for the nuclear power and fossil offices, given support for those areas spans partisan lines. But the numbers are nonetheless important for two reasons: 1) It shows how even policy areas the administration backs are at risk for cuts. 2) It puts a marker down for negotiations with Congress. The lower the starting point, the lower the ultimate numbers could well end up.

What's next: The Trump administration has said it will send its budget request for fiscal year 2018 to Congress next week. These proposed cuts are part of a broader effort across the administration to make deep reductions, including nearly 70% in the Energy Department's renewable energy office.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Beto plans Texas comeback in governor's race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.