Wheeler and Brouillette Can’t Defend Trump’s Budget Cuts to Environmental and Public Health Programs

Former lobbyists Andrew Wheeler and Dan Brouillette are testifying before the House today, where they will have to answer for Trump’s disastrous budget, which cuts funding for programs that protect our environment, fight climate change, and safeguard public health.

For four consecutive years, Trump has proposed massive cuts to the agency responsible for protecting our environment and public health.

Newsweek: “For the fourth year in a row, the administration has proposed slashing funding for the EPA (in this case by 26 percent) while seeking to get rid of programs focused on improving water quality, reducing air pollution, protecting drinking water, promoting the safe use of pesticides and toxic substances and cleaning up contaminated land, according to the Environmental Protection Network (EPN)—a bipartisan organization whose membership is comprised of former EPA officials.”

Trump’s budget reflects his longstanding opposition to fighting climate change, boosting fossil fuels while cutting energy efficiency and climate science programs.

E&E News: “In fact, the word ‘climate’ didn’t appear at all in the 138-page main budget document … In an informal summary provided by EPA, it appears six times — mainly in the titles of programs slated for elimination.”

New York Times: “At the same time, the budget promotes a fossil fuel ‘energy boom’ in the United States, including an increase in the production of natural gas and crude oil, both of which release carbon dioxide emissions responsible for warming the planet.”

E&E News: “The budget again proposes moving the Energy Star energy efficiency program—which is jointly administered by EPA and DOE—to a user-fee model that Congress previously has rejected. The same section also floated plans to zero out funding for several EPA climate change partnership programs including the Coalbed Methane Outreach Program, the Global Methane Initiative and Natural Gas STAR.”

The Hill: “President Trump’s budget proposes closing a network of climate science centers, prompting concerns the administration will hamstring climate change research while booting employees from the federal workforce.”

Trump’s budget puts communities and public health at risk by slashing funds for air quality programs, toxic Superfund clean-up projects, and basic water and sanitation infrastructure.

E&E News: “The budget asks Congress for a total of $437 million for EPA’s air quality work overall, down from the current funding level of $813 million. That includes reduced budgets for enforcement, science and technology, and other programs.”

Associated Press: “President Donald Trump called Monday for slashing funding for the Superfund hazardous waste program, even as the backlog of clean-ups has grown around the country for lack of money. The $113 million in Superfund clean-up cuts are part of Trump’s proposal for a $2.4 billion, or 26%, cut in overall funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Newsweek: “Furthermore, the budget proposes 94 percent cuts to two programs that support basic drinking water and sanitation infrastructure, such as flushing toilets and running water, for poor, remote Alaska Native rural villages and low-income communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, which disproportionately lack these kinds of services.”