US President Donald Trump has cut funding for offshore renewable energy activities in the proposed $11.7bn 2018 budget for the Department of the Interior (DOI).
Trump wants an increase in domestic energy production on federal lands while cutting down on wasteful spending.
The US government has also revealed its plans to divest some of the major energy resources and infrastructure over the next ten years to raise a capital of about $36bn.
While the amount would play its part in cutting the national debt, it would also allow new areas for drilling activities to produce oil and gas.
Further, the government expects the move could raise revenues coming from potential oil and gas royalties.
The budget allocates $791m to meet the goals of the America First Energy Plan.
Offshore oil and gas development in the country has got the lion share of the budget at $343m funding, which reflects an increase by $7m from what was allocated in FY 2017.
The Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Plan will see an update with an increased funding by $10m.
Trump has proposed $189m funding to the onshore oil and gas and coal programs. The US government said that it intends to bolster the programs with an additional $24m funding to what it had committed to in the previous fiscal year.
Renewables have been given the lowest share of the budget at $78m which the Trump administration says is to sustain pace with “anticipated project interest for renewable energy development”.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is responsible for implementing the America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, has been allocated a budget of $171m.
BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank said: “The President's budget recognizes BOEM's important role in advancing responsible development of American energy resources as part of a broad effort to secure the Nation’s energy future, benefit the economy, and create jobs.
“The President’s budget request for BOEM reflects the resources and personnel needed to develop our capacity and to carry out our mission carefully, responsibly, and efficiently.”
Trump’s maiden budget also slices $3.1bn from the previous funding allocated for the Energy Department to carry out energy research programs. The new allocation in this regard marks a reduction of 18% in comparison to the previous budget announced by the Obama administration.
Towards the end of April, Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling to areas in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the US Gulf of Mexico which are otherwise off limits.
Image: US President Donald Trump. Photo: courtesy of President Donald J. Trump (from the White House) (direct link)/Wikipedia.