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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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “Trump’s Budget Cuts: Even Worse Than You Thought”

  1. These increasingly tragic consequences are a direct result of refusals by academics to join together and protest increasingly out of control crimes against humanity from global warming, violence, inequalities, etc. etc. etc.

    You were warned, and you warned us with your lectures, and now we have Trump proving that time has run out.

    One of the worst case scenario facts of life is that we (especially academics/intellectuals who are supposed to know better) never learn from and act upon the lessons of history they teach us in time to save far too many civilizations from failing. Now it is our turn to suffer the consequences, consequences that our newest and all future generations shall hate us for.

    1. I apologize for being so harsh with my criticisms of failures by academics to protect our civilization, but a paramount conclusion that Will and Ariel Durant made after over 40 years of studying, documenting and teaching the lessons of history is that there are only two cultures that can protect us from ourselves, political or intellectual.

      Aa you have proven beyond all doubt with your environmental posts, our politicians are doing more harm, driving our civilization into extinction than any other reason.

      Thus intellectuals are our last resort, and academics have taught us everything we know about how to save our civilization from the environmental, violence, inequalities and other grave threats that are destroying our civilization today.

      What we need is a leader to unite academics to meet the challenges of change that are destroying our quality of life today. Robert Reich is one possibility because of his proven ability to communicate with those of us who are not protected within Ivory Towers, but even he must have universal support from the academic world to produce and implement solutions.

      In addition to informing, teaching and trying to motivate us to save our planet from our attacks against our environment, you might ask your Legal Planet colleagues to provide leadership to either form an international society, or dedicate a campus like Berkeley and/or UCLA to protecting and perpetuating quality of life for all of our future generations.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

READ more