EPA: Trump’s EPA can’t fix broken system
By ALAN JONES, Associated Press EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pushing to reverse a $6.5 billion, three-year project to overhaul the nation’s air pollution system.
The Clean Power Plan, Trump’s signature domestic climate and air pollution initiative, was designed to help combat climate change.
The plan was supposed to cost $30 billion over five years, but Pruitt’s office said the agency can’t keep up with its own funding.
“We can’t afford to keep up and we’ve got to find ways to cut costs,” Pruitt told reporters Monday.
The White House is also considering cutting funding to EPA staff to $2.4 billion.
Pruitt, in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, said the budget cut “is unnecessary and counterproductive to our efforts to combat climate pollution.”
McCarthy has defended the cuts as necessary to support the agency’s mission.
“The budget we’re proposing is the least we can do to ensure that the Trump administration’s goal of a low-carbon economy is achieved and that we can deliver on our commitments under the Climate Action Plan,” McCarthy said in a statement.
“At a time when the Trump Administration is prioritizing fossil fuels over our environment, this budget will make the most sense for us.”
Trump’s budget proposal calls for cutting EPA spending by an estimated $1.2 billion in 2018, and by $1 billion in 2019.
The agency has been under budget for eight straight years.
Trump and congressional Republicans are pushing to slash the agency as part of a broader budget package that would slash the Environmental Protection Agency budget by almost 30%.
Pruitt’s budget request would save the agency $1,926 million over 10 years, according to a Treasury Department report.
Pruitt is trying to save money by cutting EPA staff, as well.
He wants to eliminate the agencys Environmental Protection Branch, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation, the Clean Air Section and the Office for Ozone and Carbon Monoxide Hazards.
He also wants to cut funding to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Center for Clean Energy Solutions.
The Office of Air and Radiation Protection, which protects the nations air and water, is expected to be eliminated from the budget, along with the EPA’s office of air and radiation research and testing.
The budget also would eliminate EPA’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.
EPA is part of the Commerce Department, which oversees EPA, and the budget would also require that EPA and other federal agencies submit to the Commerce Office of Management and Budget their annual budgets.