Quantcast
Popular
Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Newscom

Trump’s Budget Is a Blueprint for Destruction

By Rhea Suh

It may sound like green eyeshades stuff, but the massive budget proposal the White House sends up to Congress each February is a kind of road map to our future. It's the president's plan for spending taxpayer dollars to advance his priorities and goals.

President Trump's proposal landed with a thud Monday on Capitol Hill, where it should be dead on arrival. It calls for a record $4.4 trillion in spending for the fiscal year that begins in October. It would spike the federal budget deficit, adding $7.1 trillion to the national debt in the coming decade. And it would eviscerate environmental and health protections, stifle clean energy research, raid our public waters and lands, and abandon our children to the growing dangers of climate change.


That's the road map to a future none of us wants to see.

Americans believe in responsible public oversight to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the world we'll leave our children. An overwhelming 85 percent expect our federal government to do more to protect our environment or at least maintain existing protections.

Trump, however, calls for gutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with staff and budget cuts of 21 percent and 24 percent, respectively, as compared with 2017 levels.

That means fewer people to monitor air and water quality; enforce our laws; and work with lawmakers, local businesses, public advocates and others to respond to emerging threats. Trump would cut by half, for example, the EPA work we all depend on to protect human health and the environment from cancer-causing radiation in our drinking water, indoor air, and industrial facilities. You don't strengthen environmental protections by taking the environmental steward off the beat.

And for what? The $1.9 billion Trump wants to cut from EPA spending is barely one-tenth what he wants taxpayers to fork out over the next two years to build his "great wall" to divide us from our Mexican neighbors, pure folly that more than six in ten Americans oppose.

Trump's assault on environmental protection, though, is part of a larger scheme to put profits for fossil fuel companies and other polluters first—and put the rest of us at risk. He calls for a 16 percent cut in funding for the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is charged with overseeing our national parks, wilderness areas, and other public waters and lands. Those cuts would eliminate thousands of employees that implement vital programs essential to the conservation of lands that belong to you and me.

Trump's budget, meanwhile, would add spending needed to expose special places to the hazards and harm of oil and gas drilling. Places like the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah; the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; and Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Alaskan waters and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

While heading up a fossil fuel raid on public waters and lands, Trump wants to burn the technological seed corn of the clean energy revolution that's remaking the global economy.

Trump calls for a 65 percent cut in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. This office helps us do more with less waste in our cars, workplaces and homes and helps us get more clean, homegrown American power from the wind and sun, which more than seven in ten Americans favor over coal, oil and gas.

He's also proposed eliminating the successful Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy. Over the past decade, the program has invested between $180 million and $306 million a year in promising new energy technologies that can help clean up our dirty power plants, for example, provide cleaner fuels for our cars and trucks, and help make our electricity grid more efficient.

For that matter, Trump's budget would put energy efficiency out of reach for millions of low-income Americans by eliminating the popular Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Energy Department's Weatherization Assistance program.

Finally, Trump wants to turn his back on the central environmental challenge of our time, eliminating $160 million in investments through the Global Climate Change Initiative, which enables U.S. diplomats and aid experts to help developing countries find cleaner, smarter ways to power economic growth.

Trump's budget isn't a road map to the future. It's a blueprint for destruction that balloons the deficit, puts our environment and health at growing risk, and leaves our kids to pay the price.

The country deserves better than that―and so do our children.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, seen here speaking to the press about the Flint water crisis in 2016, will be the highest ranking official to stand trial over the public health disaster. Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

Judge Orders Michigan Health Director to Face Trial Over Flint Water Crisis Deaths

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon will be the highest ranking official to go to trial so far as a result of an investigation into the Flint water crisis, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Judge David Goggins ruled Monday there was probable cause for Lyon to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Robert Skidmore and John Snyder that prosecutors say were due to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that Lyon was aware of a year before he alerted Michigan's governor, Michigan Live reported. Lyons is also charged with misconduct in office.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Coal-fired power plant near Becker, Minnesota. Tony Webster / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Trump's 'Dirty Power Plan' Could Cost More Than 1,000 Lives a Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled on Tuesday its long-anticipated replacement of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The new coal pollution rules will increase planet-warming carbon pollution and could cost more than a thousand American lives each year, according to the EPA's own estimates.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler released the "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" today under President Trump's directive. The new plan encourages efficiency improvements at existing coal plants to ensure they operate longer and allows states to weaken, or even eliminate, coal emissions standards. That's a clear difference from former President Obama's plan, which was aimed at phasing out coal and transitioning to cleaner power sources to avoid dangerous climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Two workers in protective gear scrape asbestos tile and mastic from a facility at Naval Base Point Loma in California. NAVFAC / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Why Asbestos Is Still a Major Public Health Threat in the U.S.

Reports surfaced this month that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos in June, requiring anyone who wanted to start or resume importing or manufacturing the carcinogenic mineral to first receive EPA approval.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Rklfoto / Getty Images

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Wants to End EPA’s Cruel Animal Testing

By Justin Goodman and Nathan Herschler

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress recently pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its "questionable" and "dubious" animal tests. The lawmakers' demand for information on "horrific and inhumane" animal testing at the EPA comes on the heels of a recent Johns Hopkins University study that found that high-tech computer models are more effective than animal tests.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
Wikimedia Commons

Strongest, Oldest Arctic Sea Ice Breaks Up for First Time on Record

The Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the globe, and now the region's thickest and oldest sea ice—also known as "the last ice area"—is breaking up for the first time on record, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

The breakage has opened up waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen-solid even in the peak of summer.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Climate Justice Edmonton

These Giant Portraits Will Stand in the Path of Trans Mountain Pipeline

By Andrea Germanos

To put forth a "hopeful vision for the future" that includes bold climate action, a new installation project is to be erected along the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route to harnesses art's ability to be a force for social change and highlight the fossil fuel project's increased threats to indigenous rights and a safe climate.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
A worker inspects recycled plastic in a plastics factory. Getty Images

The Plastic Waste Crisis Is an Opportunity to Get Serious About Recycling

By Kate O'Neill

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called "National Sword" policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Aaron Teasdale

The One Thing Better Than Summer Skiing

By Aaron Teasdale

"There's snow up here, I promise," I assure my son Jonah, as we grunt up a south-facing mountainside in Glacier National Park in July. A mountain goat cocks its head as if to say, "What kind of crazy people hike up bare mountains in ski boots?" He's not the only one to wonder what in the name of Bode Miller we're doing up here with ski gear.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!