Trump’s Budget Cuts: Even Worse Than You Thought

As you dive into the details, things keep looking worse.

Trump is proposing huge cuts to EPA and other agencies. That’s bad enough. We’re beginning to learn more details, and the message is grim.  While these cuts may not emerge from Congress at the end of the day, they do express the Administration’s goals. In particular, they demonstrate that the Administration is deeply hostile to environmental science and that it lacks any interest in continuing to clean up our air and water.

Here’s what we know as of now:

Environmental Science. I have posted previously about the threat to scientific research posed by the Trump Administration. The Administration’s attack on environmental science – climate science in particular – is now taking concrete form.

  • NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose 26% ($126 million) of its current funding.
  • NOAA’s satellite data division would lose 22% ($513 million) of its funding.
  • The Global Change Research, a program started by President George H.W. Bush, would be eliminated.
  • EPA’s research on air, climate, energy (EPA) would be cut 50% (to $46 million)
  • EPA’s research on chemical safety and sustainability would be cut 30% (to $62 million.)
  • Overall, EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) would be cut 40% (from $510 million to $290 million).
  • [Addendum] On March 9, the press reported that the Administration is planning at 30% cut for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which researches cutting edge energy technologies.

EPA. EPA’s budget would be cut 25%, with staff cut by 20%. The most complete information I’ve found is here, although I’ve relied on other sources as well. This story s provides a good overview. Apart from the research cuts listed above, the cuts would include:

  • The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would be cut 97% (from $300 million to 10 million).
  • Grants to states for lead cleanup would be cut 30%, to $9.8 million.
  • Grants for the brownfields industrial site cleanup program would be slashed by 42% to $14.7 million.
  • Restoration programs for the San Francisco Bay, Lake Champlain and Long Island Sound would be axed.
  • Funding for enforcing pollution laws would be reduced 11% to $153 million.
  • Zeroed out: support for Alaska native villages that are sinking because of climate change
  • Zero support: for the diesel emissions reduction program.

Other Departments. The Administration is proposing a 10% cut for the Interior budget. Few details seem to be available as of now. There are also reports about major cuts at DOE targeting renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, but nothing concrete seems to have leaked yet. The Heritage Foundation’s proposal may provide the blueprint.  It calls for cutting funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, as well as axing the Office of Electricity, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Office of Fossil Energy (which works on carbon capture and sequestration from fossil fuel plants.)

Of course, no one really thought that Trump cared about climate change, air pollution, or water pollution.  But the budget makes clearer the depth of his indifference, even hostility, to environmental protection.


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