A memorandum issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acting chief financial officer proposes program cuts to accommodate the Trump Administration’s proposed 31% budget reduction for FY 2018. The memo states that this resource level will require evaluating EPA’s priorities and “thinking differently about the best ways to accomplish [its] core statutory responsibilities.”
The proposed cuts make it clear that regulation of climate change or carbon pollution is no longer considered one of EPA’s “core statutory responsibilities”; the cuts would fully eliminate the Climate Protection Program, including voluntary partnership programs such as Energy Star, the Green Power Partnership, the State and Local Climate Energy Program, and the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, among others. Regional science and technology, science policy and biotechnology, and Science Advisory Board programs would also see reductions in funding or elimination.
Other programs facing elimination on the grounds that they “go beyond the EPA’s core statutory requirements” and “focus agency resources on highest national priorities” include environmental education; environmental justice; and radiation protection. In addition, funding for indoor air radon and lead risk reduction programs are eliminated on the grounds of “returning the responsibility… to state and local entities.”
Not all programs will see cuts, though; resources are allocated for ten additional full-time employees to provide 24/7 security detail for EPA Administrator Pruitt.