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.

| May/June 1983

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.

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