Trump released his first major budget proposal on Tuesday, and it maintains the same 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency that Trump recommended in his “skinny budget” earlier this year—the highest percentage cut to any government department, reducing funding to $5.65 billion and cutting 3,200 jobs. The Interior Department, which controls national parks and energy development on public lands, would be cut by 11 percent, and the Department of Energy by 6 percent cut (much of it from its renewable energy program).
The proposed reductions at the EPA are wide-ranging. They include deep cuts to climate change programs, including initiatives to track and reduce carbon emissions and climate science research programs. But the budget also includes a 25 percent cut to the Superfund program, which facilitates cleanup of the country’s most contaminated sites. This undermines EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s claim that he would prioritize these sites.
The Washington Post has more details on the cuts:
The plan would eliminate several major regional programs, including ones aimed at restoring the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound, as well as EPA’s lead risk-reduction program. The White House also proposes nearly halving categorical grants, which support state and local efforts to address everything from pesticide exposure to air and water quality, to $597 million. ...
Dozens of other programs also would be zeroed out entirely, including funding for radon detection, lead risk reduction, projects along the U.S.-Mexico border and environmental justice initiatives. The agency would have significantly less money for enforcement of environmental crimes and for research into climate change and other issues.
Trump’s proposed budget also includes a controversial plan to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling by the year 2022, which the budget claims would raise $1.8 billion by 2027.
Environmental and public health advocates are furious. My inbox is inundated with emails with words like “Draconian” and “extreme” and “fat cat.” But the administration knew this would happen; it received the exact same reaction after its proposed cuts in March. As Trump’s budget director said back then, “We’re not spending money on [climate change] anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money.” The president is living up to that awful promise.