What it’s like to work at the US Department of Energy as Donald Trump takes over?
The Department of Energy is in turmoil as US president-elect Donald Trump’s team moves in to take over.
“Our career staff is made up of scientists and engineers who follow the science as part of their daily jobs,” says a senior DoE employee who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the transition. “And what they see on the horizon here is doing that exact thing, following the science, could lead to repercussions on their livelihood.”
Beyond the personal concerns of scientists who don’t want to be punished for doing their jobs, the transition process so far has made clear that major cuts are coming for clean energy programs. The questions asked which programs, jobs, and standards are mandated by law rather than implemented by political appointees. The transition team is also seeking to separate applied research programs, which are intended to lead to clean energy technology, from broader basic science programs.
In past budget proposals, Republicans aimed to cut funding for renewable energy programs, but were deterred by the Obama administration. DoE staffers say if such cuts were enacted under the Trump administration, it would mean significant layoffs in agency’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which researches alternative energy sources like tidal and geothermal power, and saves consumers money by pushing for more energy-efficient vehicles and appliances.
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Thursday, December 15, 2016
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