Monday, April 10, 2017

Trump Cowardly Forgets to Mention His Plan to Eviscerate Environmental Protection in His Speech

Probably Would Not Get Him the Adoration He Craves

Budget proposals are just that, proposals.  They never get enacted as proposed.  But they do give an insight into the priorities of an administration.  And in this case they illustrate that this administration has no priority for environmental protection.  A draft budget proposal has been leaked (probably deliberately as a trial balloon) to the WaPo.

The plan to slash EPA’s staff from its current level of 15,000 to 12,000, which could be accomplished in part through a buyout offer as well as layoffs, is one of several changes for which the new administration has asked agency staff for comment by close of business Wednesday. Multiple individuals briefed on the plan confirmed the request by OMB, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The proposal also dictates cutting the agency’s grants to states, including its air and water programs, by 30 percent, and eliminating 38 separate programs in their entirety. Programs designated for zero funding include grants to clean up brownfields, or abandoned industrial sites; a national electronic manifest system for hazardous waste; environmental justice programs; climate-change initiatives; and funding for native Alaskan villages.

Well there goes 3,000 jobs by the (in)famous job creator, about three times the number the Pres sorta, maybe saved in Indianapolis to great acclaim (most his).   But notice what will happen to clean up activities, and maybe Alaskans will re-think their adoration of Republicans when they and not the feds have to support native Alaskan villages.

And there is this.

Craig Kenworthy, who serves as executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and co-president of NACAA, said in an interview that air officials across the United States would not be able to meet their statutory responsibilities if their funding were cut that deeply. He noted that the Benton Clean Air Agency in central Washington has five staff members responsible for duties including monitoring air quality, issuing permits and letting local farmers when they can burn fields.
“It’s basically saying to the local agencies, ‘So you still have to meet all the federal requirements, and then you’re going to lose a quarter to a third of your budgets,’ ” Kenworthy said, noting that he worries environmental groups could sue them if they don’t fulfill their legal responsibilities. “I understand there may be some people in the new administration who may not like some of the current Clean Air Act requirements … but we still have meet them.”

Remember when Republicans fumed against unfunded mandates, requirements imposed on state and local governments without the necessary funding to perform the actions.  Well guess what, unfunded mandates are back and Donnie’s got them.

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