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Should DOE get out of the research business?

The budget outline that President Trump released yesterday proposed a historic scaling-back of R&D by the Department of Energy, upending decades of bipartisan consensus on the department's mission. Trump thinks that the federal government is meddling in the market and that it should limit itself to basic research and shift the billions of dollars it spends on applied research and commercialization to private industry. Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs who receive DOE research funding see themselves as helping the United States gain a competitive edge in a global energy sector that is being transformed by new technology. That level of private money, they say, simply doesn't exist.

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