Trump budget slashes EPA funding, environmental programs

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Trump’s budget would eliminate 50 EPA programs and impose massive cuts to research and development, while also nixing money for the Energy Star rating system. The Energy Star program, which measures the efficiency of electronics and appliances, would instead rely on businesses to pay a fee to participate in the program.

The proposed spending reductions mark the latest effort by the administration to chip away at government agencies focused on science, the environment and public lands. The White House budget request would reduce spending at the Energy Department by 8 percent and cut 16 percent from the Department of the Interior’s budget.

Trump has consistently proposed cutting funding for those agencies, and Congress has routinely ignored the president’s budget request by instead increasing funding.

“Congress should toss this Trump budget into the dustbin of history like they’ve done with the other ones,” former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Trump credits economic progress to environmental rollbacks | Vote to subpoena Interior delayed by prayer breakfast | Dems hit agency for delaying energy efficiency funds Ex-Obama EPA chief expresses skepticism on carbon capture Overnight Energy: Sanders introduces bill to ban fracking | Trump officials propose rolling back law protecting migratory birds | Green groups threaten to sue EPA over airplane pollution MORE, who served during the Obama administration and is now head of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

“This president is putting our families and communities at risk by taking direct aim at the environment, public health and energy innovation. It is unconscionable to take such drastic cuts to EPA, the Energy Department and other agencies that keep us safe, protect our kids and grow our clean energy economy,” she added. “At a time when we’re only seeing greater risks from climate change, these agencies deserve to be fully funded by Congress.”

At the EPA, the Trump budget would cut the Superfund program, tasked with cleaning up hazardous waste sites, by 10 percent, despite data showing the agency has the largest backlog of toxic waste cleanups in 15 years.

The budget also would cut research and development funding at the EPA nearly in half, lowering funding from $500 million to $281 million.

The administration wrote in a budget summary that “research grants to non-federal entities such as universities, are not required to meet EPA’s statutory obligations and therefore would not be funded.”

The proposal would cut funding for a number of waterway protection projects in blue states like Maryland, New York and Washington. Projects in swing states like the Great Lakes region and Florida’s Everglades would be fully funded.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This content was originally published here.

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