What President Donald Trump's budget does to the Department of Energy "is a breath of fresh air," the conservative Heritage Foundation wrote Thursday.
In an opinion piece for The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation argues that the Department of Energy — which is tasked with maintaining the nation's arsenal of nuclear weapons, conducting nuclear research, and other related activities — needs to have some fat trimmed.
"The Department of Energy's science budget has ballooned since 1977 from $1.4 billion (inflation-adjusted) to $5.2 billion in 2014. It has grown to include programs for nearly every energy technology imaginable — biofuels, coal carbon capture and sequestration, renewables, small nuclear, batteries, and so on," reads the story, which carries the headline, "Trump's Budget Takes a Cleaver to Cronyism and Waste at the Energy Department."
"Downsizing the Department of Energy will not solve America's massive budget problem, but it is an important piece of the overall picture. Hard cuts are necessary to scale back programs that are not proper functions of the federal government."
The Heritage Foundation's Katie Tubb and Nicolas Loris go on to explain that the budget also cuts back on some of the Energy Department's excess spending that is not needed.
Overall, the budget proposal would grow the National Nuclear Security Administration's budget by 11.3 percent, but the rest of the DOE would see a 17.9 percent cut, according to The Washington Post.
"The Department of Energy needs to reset its focus on key functions like maintaining the nuclear weapons complex, efficiently addressing environmental cleanup, and stewarding an appropriately sized national lab program," The Heritage Foundation argues.
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