Reagan Administration Energy Policy

The Reagan administration's spending priorities show U.S. energy policy will be tilting further away from conservation and renewable power sources.

Reagan administration energy policy

Conservation clearly isn't an energy policy priority of the Reagan Administration.

Illustration by Fotolia/Serg Nvns

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The Reagan Administration's proposed fiscal 1984 budget for the Department of Energy paints a pretty unambiguous picture of the direction they want to take energy policy. Their spending plan would: [1] cut federal funds for energy conservation from $498.3 million to just $101.3 million; [2] virtually kill the government's highly effective weatherization and energy-assistance program for schools, hospitals, and other public buildings (moneys for such grants would be slashed from $282 million to a token $3.3 million); [3] channel more than 80% of the DOE's entire budget into defense-related accounts; and [4] reduce funding for renewable energy sources — including sun, wind, and water — by more than 50%, to only $102.3 million (that's less than half of the $270 million that's been earmarked for just the Clinch River Breeder Reactor). Meanwhile, the largest single allotment on the White House's proposed budget for the United States is $3.9 billion — to be spent on the development, testing, and production of nuclear weapons.