Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Fox News claim a leaked EPA draft budget proposal document promises deep cuts to the EPA budget, particularly climate related activities. But the Heartland Institute think the reported cuts don’t go far enough.
Environmental programs face deep cuts under budget proposal
Published March 03, 2017
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration would slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by The Associated Press.
Under the tentative plan from the Office of Management and Budget, the agency’s funding would be reduced by roughly 25 percent and about 3,000 jobs would be cut, about 19 percent of the agency’s staff.
The draft proposal would cut the EPA’s annual budget from about $8.2 billion to $6.1 billion. Proposed cuts include reducing the climate protection budget by nearly 70 percent to $29 million, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 97 percent to $10 million and environmental justice programs by 79 percent to $1.5 million.
Also targeted for steep spending rollbacks are the agency’s monitoring and enforcement of compliance with environmental laws, as well as regional projects intended to benefit degraded areas such as the Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. A program dealing with San Francisco Bay that received $4.8 million last year would be eliminated, as would initiatives for reducing diesel emissions and beach water quality testing.
But the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, said the proposal didn’t go far enough.
“If Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt are serious about ending the national scandal that is EPA, they will accept nothing less than a 20 percent cut this year and make this year’s cut the first step in a five-year plan to replace the organization,” said Joseph Bast, the group’s president.
I don’t think there is any acceptable compromise on this issue. Any cut to the EPA budget will upset greens and Democrat supporters. No cut to the EPA budget will upset Trump supporters, many of whom are utterly fed up with excessive EPA interference in their lives. A lightweight cut to the EPA budget would upset everyone.