Published: Sat, March 04, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Trump Wants to Slash EPA Budget By 25 Percent

Trump Wants to Slash EPA Budget By 25 Percent

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Methane - the majority component of natural gas - has global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide, meaning its impact on climate change is significant.

An ongoing project to clean Chesapeake Bay would see its funding slashed from $73 million per year to $5 million, and 38 programs - from climate change efforts to industrial cleanups to Alaskan native villager funding - would but eliminated outright. It would also reduce funding for enforcing pollution laws by 11 percent to $153 million.

The Republican-led Congress would have to approve any EPA cuts.

The budget did not cut state revolving funds for programs, that Congress tapped past year to provide aid to Flint, Michigan, for its lead pollution crisis.

Administrator Scott Pruitt says he is urging the White House not to cut funding for several grant programs the Trump administration has targeted.

"I want you to know that with the White House and also with Congress, I am communicating a message that the Brownfields program, the Superfund program, water infrastructure, WIFIA [Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act] grants, [and] state revolving funds are essential to protect", Pruitt said at a press conference at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Thursday morning. Senior officials indicated the increase in spending would come from dramatic cuts to crucial agencies like the EPA and the State Department.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the budget discussions are ongoing with Congress and the administration and said he is committed to certain EPA programs created to safeguard the environment.

More people die from air pollution than any other social problems, including terrorist attacks, drunk driving, gun violence, says Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

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