Trump Torches Environment Budget
Last week, I talked about President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the EPA, FEMA and NOAA, and the irresponsibility of this administration to defund agencies needed for environmental protection.
Well, Trump released his 2018 budget yesterday and it’s just absurd.
In order to increase defense spending by $54 billion, Trump decided to take money from 18 other agencies, decimating dozens of federal programs that fund scientific research, assist the poor and protect public health. The proposed budget targets climate change investments, clean energy programs and restoration initiatives.
The 2018 Budget requests $5.7 billion for the EPA, a $2.6 billion reduction, or 31 percent loss, from the 2017 annualized continuing resolution (CR) level. The EPA will lose 50 programs and 3,200 staffing positions.
Congress must approve the budget by the end of April, or we’ll face another partial government shutdown on April 29 when the current temporary funding bill expires. The official budget won’t take effect until the new fiscal year on October 1.
The federal government sets the priorities of the country through its budget, and the general theme of the 2018 Budget is if the Trump administration deems a program low priority or poorly performing, it’s not going to be funded. The environment and climate change has taken the biggest hit.
Functions that can be absorbed into other programs, including on the state and local level, will be made redundant. This is part of an effort to eliminate or severely reduce federal investment in state environmental activities – or ‘government overreach’ according to the GOP.
Here are environmental and energy programs that will be eliminated under Trump’s proposal:
Environmental Protection Agency
More than $100 million of funding for the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs, and related efforts will be discontinued. The focus is to reorient the clean air program “without unduly burdening the American economy.”
Severe budget cuts are in store for the Office of Research and Development, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Superfund sites and categorical grants which allows states to receive funds to implement water, air, waste and toxic substances programs
Department of Energy
The Office of Science will experience a $900 million reduction. Funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will focus on applied energy research and development activities where the federal role is stronger.
Department of Interior
The Interior Department will increase funding and relax permitting processes to allow industry to drill on public lands to access energy resources. Even though the 2018 Budget mentions support for land management operations from the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management, a 12 percent budget will make it difficult for maintenance of national parks, historic sites and public lands.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The 2018 Budget slashes research for climate, ocean and earth science programs. The development of polar orbiting and geostationary weather satellites will be maintained so forecasters can continue to have critical weather data.
Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development
Trump seeks to eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) and cease payments to the United Nations’ climate change programs, such as the Green Climate Fund – a key component of the Paris climate agreement. The U.S. provides foreign assistance through the GCCI to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster low-carbon economic growth and promote climate-resilient societies.
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Environmental advocate. Communications professional. Sports fan. I love television and press conferences.