Department of Energy (DOE) officials running the Energy Star program found out through news reports that President Donald Trump wanted their project cut, emails obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) indicate.
CBD obtained official emails between Energy Star top officials through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails are only partially available and contain “unexplained gaps.” The group is working to get the rest of the relevant communications released, according to a CBD press release Thursday.
“It’s despicable to see the Trump administration’s slash-and-burn approach to good ideas that help people and the environment, including Energy Star,” CBD renewable energy and research specialist Greer Ryan said in a statement. “These records raise serious concerns that the decision to eliminate this widely successful program was done without consultation with the very officials charged with administering it.”
Energy Star is a voluntary labeling program meant to ensure “each product that earns the label is independently certified to deliver the quality, performance, and savings that consumers have come to expect.”
Businesses and products marked with the Energy Star stamp are energy efficient under EPA guidelines. The program has saved Americans $430 billion on energy bills since 1992, according to the EPA.
House Appropriations Committee members voted in July to cut the program’s funding by 40 percent, instead of the complete transfer to a non-governmental entity the Trump administration had pushed for in its budge proposal.
The DOE declined a request for comment on this story.
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