Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump’s 2020 Budget Would Cut EPA Funding by 31%

Politics
Trump’s 2020 Budget Would Cut EPA Funding by 31%
The headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

President Donald Trump released his budget for fiscal year 2020 on Monday, to a general outcry from environmental groups who say it underfunds key programs and agencies.

EcoWatch has already reported on its biggest ask — $8.6 billion in funding for a border wall that would threaten borderland wildlife and communities — but the budget has been equally criticized for what it would cut, including a 31 percent decrease in funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a nine to 14 percent decrease for the Department of the Interior (DOI).


"In the face of a nationwide drinking water contamination crisis, a broken chemical safety net, and devastating hurricanes and wildfires, a rational and concerned president would seek more funding to protect Americans' health, keep our environment clean, and combat the threat of catastrophic climate change," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement about the budget.

Here are some of the programs the president would like to ax.

1. Endangered Species Funding: The budget for adding new species to the endangered species list would be cut by about 50 percent, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) said, while funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service overall would fall by 16 percent compared to 2019 levels.

2. The Land and Water Conservation Fund: The popular Land and Water Conservation Fund uses money from offshore oil and gas drilling to create national parks, wildlife refuges and protected areas. It was re-authorized in a bipartisan public lands bill that Trump is expected to sign, yet his budget would reduce its funds by 95 percent, the Huffington Post reported.

3. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Among the many potential EPA cuts, the Trump administration wants to massively reduce funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which works to restore wetlands and improve water quality. The budget wants to cut $270 million of $300 million in funding, but the Detroit Free Press notes this plan is unlikely to pass Congress because it is popular with both Republicans and Democrats representing Midwestern states. Cuts proposed to the program over the last two years were also voted down.

4. Climate Change Prevention and Research: Many plans to study or deal with climate change would see cuts, Pacific Standard reported. Those include a 90 percent funding decrease for the EPA's Atmospheric Protection Program, which reports on greenhouse gasses, and a 70 percent funding decrease for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

This isn't the first time that Trump has proposed massive cuts to the EPA. His 2018 budget sought to cut its funding 31 percent and his 2019 budget aimed to slash it 23 percent. The Hill noted that Congress had declined to pass steep cuts to the EPA in previous years, and was even less likely to do so now that Democrats control the House. However, critics agreed that the budget reflected the administration's priorities.

"This environmentally devastating proposal shows Trump's government is composed only of special interests, run by special interests, for the benefit of special interests," CBD Government Affairs Director Brett Hartl said.

Radiation-contaminated water tanks and damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Japan will release radioactive wastewater from the failed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the government announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, aka the doomsday glacier, is seen here in 2014. NASA / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Scientists have maneuvered an underwater robot beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" for the first time, and the resulting data is not reassuring.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Journalists film a protest by the environmental organization BUND at the Datteln coal-fired power plant in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on April 23, 2020. Bernd Thissen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Lead partners of a global consortium of news outlets that aims to improve reporting on the climate emergency released a statement on Monday urging journalists everywhere to treat their coverage of the rapidly heating planet with the same same level of urgency and intensity as they have the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Airborne microplastics are turning up in remote regions of the world, including the remote Altai mountains in Siberia. Kirill Kukhmar / TASS / Getty Images

Scientists consider plastic pollution one of the "most pressing environmental and social issues of the 21st century," but so far, microplastic research has mostly focused on the impact on rivers and oceans.

Read More Show Less
A laborer works at the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China on Oct. 7, 2010. Jie Zhao / Corbis via Getty Images

By Michel Penke

More than every second person in the world now has a cellphone, and manufacturers are rolling out bigger, better, slicker models all the time. Many, however, have a bloody history.

Read More Show Less