March 27, 2019
On March 11, 2019 President Donald Trump proposed significant budget cuts to the government agencies responsible for overseeing the nation’s energy and environmental policies, including a 31 percent reduction in spending at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) according to a report from The Hill.
The fiscal 2020 budget proposal to Congress titled “A Budget for a Better America,” requests $31.7 billion for the Department of Energy, an 11 percent decrease from current funding, while the Interior Department would see a 14 percent cut, to $12.5 billion.
The biggest proposed cuts among the three major energy and environment agencies would take place at the EPA, where former energy lobbyist Andrew Wheeler recently took over as the top administrator after being confirmed by the Senate. The budget for the agency tasked with enforcing environmental regulations would plummet to $6.1 billion, a decrease of 31 percent, under the White House spending blueprint.
“This commonsense budget proposal would support the agency as it continues to work with states, tribes and local governments to protect human health and the environment,” Wheeler said in a statement Monday.
“Focusing on the core mission makes EPA a better steward of taxpayer dollars and promotes operational efficiencies that enhance the Agency’s Performance,” the White House added in its request to Congress. Overall, the administration proposes eliminating more than $650 million in programs and activities compared to current funding levels.
The proposed reductions at EPA are in line with the steep cuts — about 25 percent — that the White House’s Office of Management and Budget proposed for the agency for fiscal 2019, which began Oct. 1. The year before that, the administration proposed cuts that exceeded 30 percent.
Lawmakers have declined to enact most of Trump’s previous funding requests, and it’s unlikely that drastic EPA cuts will be enacted by Congress this year, especially since Democrats are now in the majority in the House.
What this means to you
The White House has proposed significant budget cuts to the government agencies responsible for overseeing the nation’s energy and environmental policies, including a 31 percent reduction in spending at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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