>> The US government doubled its financial support for foreign solar power projects last year. A move that clashes with the Trump administration's policies that have downplayed renewable energy while promoting coal and oil development. According to a Reuters review of government documents, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or the OPIC, loaned more than $630 million to foreign energy projects in 2017.
90% of that money went to solar, wind, and other low-carbon ventures. That's significantly more than the Obama administration, which, in 2016, invested only 61% of the OPIC's money in clean energy projects. Last year, Trump sought to eliminate OPIC as part of his 2018 budget proposal to, quote, reduce unnecessary federal interventions that distort the free market.
But Congress rejected the idea. Trump has since appointed Texas businessman Ray Washburne to lead the agency. The increased funding for solar energy comes as a surprise, since in the past Trump has expressed skepticism about the viability of solar and wind, calling both, quote, very, very expensive. And earlier this year, Trump slapped tariffs on solar panel imports, saying the move would help domestic manufacturers.