For the third straight year, the Trump Administration proposed a federal budget plan which would make slashing cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other critical environmental programs.
Trump’s proposed 27% cut — about $2.4 billion — would eliminate 50 EPA programs, drop funding for the Energy Star efficiency rating system for appliances, and impose draconian cuts to environmental research programs. Waterway protection programs, national parks, and fish and wildlife conservation efforts at the Interior Department would also suffer.
Environmental protection advocates immediately condemned the proposals as utterly irresponsible, and called on Congress to reject them.
“The values reflected in this budget proposal show Trump prioritizes polluters over people every time. Cutting the Environmental Protection Agency budget by nearly a third and Interior by 13 percent, including nearly zeroing out the Land and Water Conservation Fund, would be dangerously irresponsible,” said national League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Legislative Director Matthew Davis. “The effects of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country. Unhealthy air days rose 15 percent in the first two years of the Trump administration, and our drinking water sources face serious threats as tens of millions of people risk exposure from pollution like lead, arsenic, toxic algae blooms, and a group of toxic chemicals called PFAS. What’s more, the drastic cuts to non-defense-related Department of Energy programs completely undermine Trump’s assurances that his administration will address the climate crisis through research and innovation — an approach that fails to meet the scale of the climate crisis but that he still won’t put resources towards. Congress must reject and replace this budget with one that truly protects the public’s health and provides the economic opportunities of a clean energy future.”
Gina McCarthy, head of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said, “Congress should toss this Trump budget into the dustbin of history like they’ve done with the other ones. This president is putting our families and communities at risk by taking direct aim at the environment, public health and energy innovation. It is unconscionable to take such drastic cuts to EPA, the Energy Department and other agencies that keep us safe, protect our kids and grow our clean energy economy. At a time when we’re only seeing greater risks from climate change, these agencies deserve to be fully funded by Congress.”
During a presidential campaign season which has often focused on other issues, the renewed Trump environmental budget cut proposals throw into sharp relief where the incumbent president actually stands on protecting public water, air, lands, and health.