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Trump budget cuts renewable energy office, ups nuclear weapons spending

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President Donald Trump. (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts spending by more than 65 percent for a research office on renewable energy and efficiency, reductions a Department of Energy official said reflected the success the bureau has had with electric vehicle batteries and wind and solar technologies.

The budget called for the office to be cut by $1.3 billion, compared to the level enacted for 2017, to $696 million for fiscal year 2019.

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“The biggest reason for that is the accomplishments that these individual programs have made,” DOE under secretary Mark Menezes told reporters.

The budget is primarily a political document and is not likely to be embraced by Congress, but it represents a starting point for the administration on negotiations.

Menezes said the DOE is attempting to refocus its mission on renewable energy and efficiency to aid technologies that have a low probability of success, but are highly risky to invest in, calling it a “more appropriate role for the government.”

But the budget calls for the “termination” of the loans programs and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, while maintaining the existing loan portfolio and making sure existing awards are completed.

And it calls for a more than 19 percent boost to the fossil energy research and development office to $502 million for making advanced power systems based on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas more efficient.

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A nonpartisan research institute decried the proposed cuts.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation said the cuts “would undercut progress toward cheaper, cleaner energy in the United States and damage the nation’s prospects for global leadership in key growth industries of the 21st century.”

The White House proposed an overall DOE 2019 budget request of $30.6 billion, a $500 million boost from current levels. That included a nearly $1.2 billion hike, compared to last year’s request, for the National Nuclear Security Administration, to help pay for a revamp of the United States nuclear weapons arsenal.

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But the budget cuts funding for the nuclear energy office by $259 million below enacted 2017 level to $757 million. The department handles research and development for advanced reactor technologies.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Grant McCool)

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Vehicles being used as weapons against protesters is ‘the new normal in 2020’: CNN

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CNN's Don Lemon on Friday evening devoted a segment to the rash of incidents in which people have driven through Black Lives Matter protesters in the same manner that killed Heather Heyer at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Vehicles used as weapons," Don Lemon began. "You heard me right, vehicles are being used as weapons against Americans taking to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests in cities across this country."

CNN correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reported shocking scenes captured on camera of vehicles running down protesters are "common now."

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2020 Election

Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses

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President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.

Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be "stupid" to hand over power peacefully should he lose.

"We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat," Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.

"That's the only way we're gonna lose is if there's, uh, mischief," he argued. "And it will have to be on a big scale."

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2020 Election

Kamala’s family ridicules ‘idiot’ Trump for comments on Sen. Harris at Virginia rally

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President Donald Trump lashed out at the Democratic Party vice presidential nominee during a Friday night campaign speech in Newport News, Virginia.

Maya Harris, the sister of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), was pleased that Trump noted the differences between the two VP choices.

Praise the Lord! https://t.co/6B4Z2qxE8a

— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) September 26, 2020

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