Trump wants to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by as much as 70% for some programs. This is an effort to gut the EPA as an effective regulatory body.
What’s going on?
It’s no secret that Trump’s administration represents a dangerous right-wing effort to disrupt, diminish, and destroy the functioning of the US government. With the release of Trump’s budget proposal for the EPA, we now have a very clear example of this agenda. The EPA’s overall budget is to be cut 25%, with staffing reductions of 20%. What kinds of programs are to be cut?
* Lead cleanup mitigation. * Pollution control for Native American tribes. * Greenhouse gas emission controls.
Environmental impact requirements for corporations in the oil and gas industries will also be significantly relaxed–this is another way of saying that they’ll be free to damage and pollute the environment without fear of consequences.
Why is it important?
Preserving our environment is crucial. Without clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, we don’t have much at all. Air pollution kills more Americans than drunk drivers do. And lead contamination is an ongoing concern in our water supplies. Stripping back regulations designed to help limit climate change also means selling out our future–allowing companies to dump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere because it’s cheaper and more profitable to do so, rather than requiring them to become cleaner and more efficient.
This isn’t Star Trek. We only have one planet to live on. We can’t simply move to another once we’ve destroyed this one. And as the world’s leading economy, we have an obligation to set a good example. Letting corporations run rampant over our environment tells the rest of the world that we don’t care, so why should they? What modest progress has been made in combating climate change could be erased completely.
It’s obvious that Trump and his cronies don’t care what happens to the planet, nor the people living on it.
What can I do?
Fortunately, the President doesn’t set the budget all by himself. Congress does that. So, you know the drill: tell your Congressional representatives not to cut EPA funding. Find out what environmental protection programs your state has, too, and do what you can to ensure those get cut. A lot of fights are going to be at the state and local level, since changing the federal government’s course at this point is an extremely difficult undertaking–most protests will simply call on deaf ears.
But we can’t give up. Whether people can continue to survive on this planet will depend very much on what happens over the next few years.