Trump's 2020 Budget Proposes 31% Cut to EPA

Trump's 2020 Budget Proposes 31% Cut to EPA

The EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

President Donald Trump recently proposed a 31 percent budget cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of his administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget.

The proposal, titled "A Budget for a Better America,” is part of an ongoing effort from the Trump Administration to reduce funding for science and environmental programs. In addition to the EPA budget cuts, under the proposed budget the nation would see funding for the National Institute of Health drop by 12 percent; National Science Foundation by 12 percent; Department of Energy’s Office of Science by 17 percent; National Institute of Standards and Technology by 30 percent; Interior Department by 14 percent; and Department of Energy by 11 percent.

Among those, the largest proposed budget cuts take place at the EPA, where former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler recently took the helm as administrator after a Senate confirmation.

“This commonsense budget proposal would support the agency as it continues to work with states, tribes and local governments to protect human health and the environment,” said Wheeler in a statement. “I am proud of the tremendous progress that EPA and its partners have made in cleaning our nation’s air, water and land, and I am looking forward to continuing this progress through fiscal year 2020.”

The Trump Administration argues the budget aims to streamline programs and eliminate voluntary and low-priority activities. But as the Detroit Free Press reports, those programs include things like slashing $270 million from the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Clean Water Action President Bob Wendelgass criticized the proposal, saying America doesn’t get better by gutting funds for the agencies charged with protecting our water, air and health. “Reducing EPA’s budget by nearly $3 billion will stymie the agency, leaving communities to fend for themselves. The president’s proposal doubles down on the Administration’s dirty water agenda, slashing or eliminating programs that protect vital watersheds and water bodies like Puget Sound, the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, while cutting funds state environmental and health agencies rely on to protect clean water and implement our nation's health and environmental laws.”

This marks the third time President Trump has proposed these kinds of cuts to environmental and science programs, and the first two were shot down by Congress. With Democrats holding a majority in the House of Representatives, the proposal is likely more of a wish list than a serious attempt at policymaking.


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