Trump's EPA

The EPA is like the planet’s personal bodyguard. Without it, we as a planet are highly vulnerable.
— Anonymous
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In early May, President Trump proposed a new budget that would cut the EPA’s budget by a third.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Founded in 1970 by Nixon, The EPA is a governmental agency that is focused on protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. With over 15,000 employees, this agency is known as the ultimate barrier between industrial destruction and the environment. In May of 2017, Trump announced a shocking decision. He proposed an overall 30% cut to the agency’s budget, bringing it to the lowest financial stature it has had in about 40 years! So why would we cut funding towards an agency poised to save so many lives through environmental impact regulations, climate change management, and water safety assurances?


Details About the Cut

 

Trump’s proposed 30% cut would shake up the entire agency. However the hardest hit departments would include the Clean Air Efforts program and the management category, seeing about 50% of its funding evaporate. In addition, there would be no money left for states to tackle issues such as nonpoint source pollution, underground storage tanks, and beach protection - just to name a few.  Also, special clean up projects in major places such as Chesapeake Bay ($73 million), the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes ($50 million) would shut down, all of which are necessary to maintain a healthy environment. However, the greatest of all, the Superfund project - responsible for cleaning up 1300 of the dirtiest and most hazardous industrial sites in America, would receive a cut of 25%, or $330 million in spending.

Besides the projects, about ¼ of all workforce (3200 people) would lose their jobs on top of the budget decrease from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. It may seem as if $5.7 billion is a lot of money, but the costs of conducting just 1 environmental project can be crippling to researchers.


Reasoning behind the Cut

 

There are many reasons Trump wishes to cut the budget for the EPA. Firstly, he believes that the EPA is too powerful and is overdoing their job. He thinks that the EPA should only focus on national affairs instead of barging in on local state affairs.

“There is no need for EPA to administer voluntary partnership and certification programs like Energy Star with taxpayer dollars, given the popularity and significant private benefits these programs provide to industry partners and consumers.”

~ White House

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Another reason Trump wants to cut the EPA budget is because he believes that industrialism ecplipses the environment in our nation's focus. Many of his staff members don’t believe in climate change, and are the primary reason that the climate change research budget has been given a big zero. Scott Pruitt, Trump's new EPA administrator, claimed that -

Carbon dioxide is not "a primary contributor to the global warming that we see."

~Scott Pruitt

Since they don’t believe in climate change and think that the environment is fine, they believe that large sums of money can be saved by not funding any of these “unnecessary” projects.

The main reason Trump wants to cut the EPA’s budget is because he wants to use that money towards building the border wall. He believes that this wall would stop illegal immigration and the narcotics from flowing into U.S. Therefore, Trump believes that his border wall is more important than the environment.

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Counter Arguments

While it is true that the EPA is a federal government agency, they do work that many state and local government do not even bother attempting. EPA is essentially doing work that they aren’t obligated to do. Without the EPA’s extra work, America would become highly unhygienic and thought of as a third world country in some aspects. Even if Trump would try to push the states to do their environmental work, many of them still wouldn’t touch it. It is also quite surprising to see that the President of United States and Scott Pruitt of all people don’t believe in climate change and global warming, even though the majority of the world believes it. Mr. Pruitt’s quote about CO2 not being the primary contributor to global warming seems to contradict what many scientists think. He’s even contradicting what’s written on the EPA website, the same agency he is an Administrator of. Some may argue that lots of research has been already conducted on global warming and climate change, however there is still a lot of research left to be done. 


Volunteer article written by: Aditya Seth