How Trump’s Budget will impact the Environment?

Everybody who cares about the environment was waiting to see how devastating will be the Trump administration’s massive budget cuts on health, environmental and safety net programs. This month, the White House have published fiscal year 2018 budget, and proved the rumors that Trump’s budget request demands deep cuts on federal research spending, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

The US EPA’s overall budget will be cut by nearly a third, putting an end to many clean air and water programs, such as the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, South Florida and San Francisco bay, and also its stuff will be cut for more than 3,800 jobs.

The office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which is the part of DOE and the country’s leading clean energy research office, would see a 70 percent or $1.4 billion budget cut in 2018. This includes a 74 percent cut to EERE’s solar, wind, water and geothermal programs and a 73.5 percent cut to the vehicle technologies program.

The president also proposes an extensive cut for many other science agencies and programs, some examples:

  • The National Science Foundation, which funds research in all fields of science and engineering, would face an 11 percent cut.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s budget would be cut by 15 percent.

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology, where research includes cyber security and nanotechnology, would face a 23 percent cut.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s primary research arm, which investigates weather, climate and ocean resources, would be cut 32 percent.

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health) will face a nearly 18 percent cut from the previous year.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service would fall 22 percent.

  • The National Institutes of Health’s budget would be slashed 22 percent.

Not all Federal science agencies are threatened, for instance, NASA is set to lose out on $200 million – just under 1 per cent of the organization’s current budget. But it is proposed to cut on 5 NASA earth science programs, including OCO-3, which aims to investigate important questions about the distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth, and the CLARREO project, which mission is to monitor the pulse of the Earth to better understand climate change.

All these numbers don’t mean much yet – Congress may not go along with Trump’s proposed budget – but they do provide information about what programs and areas of research could be in trouble.

The budget is really hostile to scientific innovation and technological innovation. I honestly believe that it’s going to be hard to get a lot of members of congress to support the kind of cuts that the president is proposing in most agencies, but especially in the EPA,” says Rob Cowin, the director of government affairs for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Furthermore, on Thursday, June 1, President Donald Trump declared the decision to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement on June 1. Trump announced that he would abandon the agreement, saying it was his solemn duty to protect “America and its citizens”

Soon after the announcement, the world leaders have publicly criticized this decision. A joint statement between Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was released following Trump’s announcement:

We, the Heads of State and of Government of France, Germany and Italy, take note with regret of the decision by the United States of America to withdraw from the universal agreement on climate change.”

Leaders of some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Tesla and Facebook, have slammed Donald Trump’s decision, underscoring that they will keep working hard for a cleaner future.

It is sad that one of the most powerful men in the world can recklessly walk away from the single most important international treaty. People understand that the reason he ditch the agreement is dirty money. People know that the senators who urged Trump to do so received all significant donations from the fossil fuel industry. Can it really be that the US citizens just accept that their future is to their leaders less important than money? Guess so otherwise Trump would not be elected in the first place and somebody would step up now and stop him.

6 replies
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