Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Clean Energy, Green Jobs and National Security are Next on the Chopping Block

republicans cut funding for renewable energy technology that could be used for national defenseFederal funding for advanced clean energy technology is due for a severe cut, as the House Majority has proposed axing the entire project funding budget for ARPA-E, the federal agency tasked with promoting next-generation renewable energy. The fallout from such a move, though, undermines the Majority’s interest in stimulating job creation and supporting national defense strategies; many of ARPA-E’s programs are geared toward creating new green jobs and supporting the U.S. military’s stated policy of transitioning out of fossil fuels.

House Majority Proposes Cuts to Clean Energy

The Majority (okay, so Republican) proposals are contained in an October 14 letter detailing recommended cuts to the Department of Energy and other science-related agencies. There is much to dispute, but for now let’s focus on ARPA-E, an agency within the Department of Energy (thanks to writer Susan Morrissey of Chemical & Engineering News for flagging this, by the way). Without providing examples, the Majority essentially shuts the agency down until “programmatic improvements are made to ensure that all awards fund truly high-risk research that industry is not likely to undertake.”

ARPA-E and Green Jobs

The ARPA-E recommendation puts the Majority squarely at odds with its stated interest in creating jobs. To cite just one example, last year ARPA-E targeted $100 million in funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency innovations, specifically focused on job creation. In particular, one area of focus for that funding round is the development of low cost, high efficiency heating and cooling systems designed with U.S. exports to developing countries in mind. That market is certainly one example in which private industry in the U.S. has already proved itself unable to compete over the long term, and the Majority recommendation simply pounds another nail in the coffin. How much more proof of industry fail do they need?

ARPA-E and the U.S. Military

The Majority recommendation also puts the Republican party squarely at odds with its longstanding tradition of straight-up support for the U.S. military. ARPA-E is modeled directly on a Department of Defense agency, DARPA, which has the same basic mission: to provide support for projects that advance technology into the next generation. The two agencies are closely intertwined; to cite just one example, this year ARPA-E showcased a landfill gas-to-energy technology called Powerstation, which could be used to provide hyper-local renewable energy for military facilities.

An Energy Policy that Undercuts National Defense

Getting U.S. military facilities off-grid is a national defense priority, underscored by the recent formation of the Army’s new Energy Initiatives Task Force, which is designed to get more utility-scale renewable energy projects in the pipeline. The goal is to get a safer, more secure, more reliable, and more affordable energy supply to U.S. military facilities and their host communities. Cutting funding for programs that move this goal forward doesn’t seem like the most obvious way to support our troops, but hey, maybe the Majority knows something we don’t.

Photo credit: Portable solar power for U.S. military, courtesy U.S. Army Africa on

Twitter: @TinaMCasey


Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Spoutible.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

Who gives a dam? Drop-in hydrokinetic turbines could bring hydropower to canals, rivers, and tidal waterways without damming up the flow of water.


USMC Base Camp Lejeune has become a national solar energy and energy storage showcase featuring new LFP battery technology.


Researchers seek new formula for energy efficient windows in beer wort, balsa wood, and paper pulp.

Clean Power

The US Navy is eyeing e-fuels made from green hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide to sustain seagoing and land-based operations.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.