The Energy Department's renewable energy office is reportedly headed for a deeper cut than originally expected under President Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal.
Trump is mulling cutting the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office by 70 percent, according to a draft budget document obtained by Axios Wednesday.
The proposed cut comes as Trump is slated to release his final budget proposal before the end of the month.
The renewable office's appropriated funds would plummet from $762 million for fiscal 2017 to $160 million under Trump's fiscal 2018 proposal, according to the draft.
The draft was released after Senate Democrats prodded Energy Secretary Rick Perry Tuesday over reports that he is denying clean energy and other funding to academic researchers, arguing that such a freeze under the fiscal 2017 budget that is still in place would be unlawful.
A group of nearly 30 senators asked Perry to explain the reports and a memo they obtained from his chief of staff that said the cuts were being done in line with the president's fiscal 2018 proposal. Congress must approve the budget and appropriate funds. The fiscal 2017 budget is in effect until the end of September.
The draft obtained by Axios also showed a 31 percent cut to the Energy Department's nuclear energy office and a 54 percent cut to the fossil energy office.