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Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget slashes the EPA by 26%

Donald Trump proposed a $4.8 trillion budget plan today that proposes cuts to several programs, including a 26% reduction for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Trump’s proposal would eliminate 50 EPA programs and cut the research and development budget from $500 million to $281 million.

The Energy Star program, which measures the efficiency of electronics and appliances, would also lose its funding. The program would instead rely on businesses to pay a fee to participate in the program.

Further, Trump’s budget request proposes reducing the Department of Energy’s spending by 8% and the Department of the Interior’s budget by 16%.

As Congress has consistently done in the past, they are expected to ignore Trump’s budget request when it comes to environmental issues.

The budget has little chance of passing in the Democratic-majority House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement last night:

The budget is a statement of values and once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security, and well-being of hard-working American families.

Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said:

Congress should toss this Trump budget into the dustbin of history like they’ve done with the other ones. This president is putting our families and communities at risk by taking direct aim at the environment, public health, and energy innovation. It is unconscionable to take such drastic cuts to EPA, the Energy Department, and other agencies that keep us safe, protect our kids, and grow our clean energy economy. At a time when we’re only seeing greater risks from climate change, these agencies deserve to be fully funded by Congress.

Electrek’s Take

The Hill pointed out some interesting election-year antics on the Trump administration’s part:

The proposal would cut funding for a number of waterway protection projects in blue states like Maryland, New York, and Washington. Projects in swing states like the Great Lakes region and Florida’s Everglades would be fully funded.

So, swing states get environmental protection and clean-up, blue states don’t. Trump knows concern about the Everglades is bipartisan in Florida, for example. Talk about putting politics before economy, social needs, or the environment. He’s definitely learned his lesson. Right, Susan Collins?

As we at Electrek just agreed in a group discussion, the EPA has actually become the EDA — the Environmental Destruction Agency, of late, first under ethics-scandal-plagued Scott Pruitt, and then under former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler. And the Energy and Interior departments aren’t any better lately, with their aggressive fossil-fuel agendas. Gina McCarthy is right: These agencies are supposed to keep us safe. But they’re not doing that.

So, acknowledging that what I’m about to say is rather bizarre, is it really so bad to defund them when they’re doing more harm than good these days?

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.