Saturday, February 17, 2018

Trump's Budget Seeks to Erode Environmental Protections and Kill Climate Action

On Monday, February 12th, Trump unleashed a budget that contains a barrage of environmental and climate insults.  Like his first budget, the most recent funding allocation contains another volley of assaults against environmental protection and climate action. Trump has prioritized deregulation and reducing social welfare programs that support the nation's most vulnerable citizens. He wants to end climate action by eliminating more than a dozen programs. Trump wants to slash the budgets of the State Department and the Department of the Interior which oversees national parks, wilderness areas and other public waters and lands.

Despite massive cuts, Trump's record setting $4.4 trillion budget would add $7.1 trillion to the national debt in the coming decade. This has prompted expressions of concern from the conservative Heritage Foundation and federal intelligence services.

EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the prime target of Trump's budget with proposed funding cuts of 34 percent along with a 21 percent reduction in staff.  Eliminating 3,200 jobs and slashing $2.8 billion from the EPA's budget will add toxins to the air and water and increase greenhouse gas emissions. These proposed changes come at a time when the EPA's budget has already been cut in half compared to what it was forty years ago.

Energy

Trump's contempt for renewables is matched only by his love for fossil fuels. Through a string of executive actions and budget recommendations Trump is supporting dirty energy at the expense of clean power. If Trump has his way there will be a 65 percent decrease in support for energy efficiency and renewables at the Department of Energy. Trump wants to eliminate or severely cut funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for energy, the Energy Departments Weatherization Assistance program, and the Global Climate Change Initiative.

Other cuts

Trump not only wants to kill climate action he wants to eradicate the scientific arms of agencies and specific projects that demonstrate the veracity of climate change. This includes a NASA satelite called the Orbiting Climate Observatory. Trump's budget also seeks to end monitoring efforts here on Earth. Trump wants 45 percent cuts to state and tribal assistance grants that include activities like monitoring toxic substances and inspecting brownfields. The budget also wants to cut federal funding for the ENERGY STAR program and replace it with fees levied against manufacturers and sellers.  Trump has proposed massive budget cuts to social welfare programs in part to reduce spending to pay for his tax cuts that may already be starting to overheat the economy.  Even though he promised he would not do so, the budget proposes cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. This includes $1.1 trillion in Medicare cuts over the next decade and $72 billion in cuts to Social Security over the same ten-year time frame. Trump also wants to ax Obamacare and kill funding for independent media and the arts including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Spending

While cuts are the order of the day Trump did not forget to throw some red meat to his base. He managed to find $18 billion to build the border wall even though he emphatically promised that Mexico would pay for it. Trump also wants $782 million to hire more law enforcement officers and $2.7 billion to increase the federal government's immigrant detention capacity.

Infrastructure

On the campaign trail, Trump promised $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending in his first 100 days in office. Instead, more than a year after his inauguration he is proposing a paltry $200 billion of federal money putting the onus of infrastructure improvements on states, cities and private interests.  For a more detailed review of the dire implications of Trump's failure to invest in climate resilient infrastructure click here



Related
A Summary of Trump's Malfeasance and his Disastrous Presidency
Trump Undermines Renewables to Help Fossil Fuels and Take Revenge
Climate Crisis Trumped by the Volatility of the US Commander-and-Chief
Trump was a Nightmare in 2017 and not just for the Environment
Trump's Budget is a Declaration of War Against Environmental Protections, Climate and Science
Trump's First 100 Days are a Climate and Environmental Nightmare
Trump Seeks to End Climate Action in America
Republicans to Sell Off Public Lands and Strip Powers from Federal Agencies
Pipelines Reborn: They're Back Thanks to Trump

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