President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency.
Of course, these fully eliminated programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Trump’s proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.
The impact of proposed budget cuts on the EPA and other agencies, if passed, will be dramatic, but many operations will probably manage to limp on. That may not be so with the 14 programs Trump has proposed eliminating altogether:
- The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program ($305 million), which supports the development of sustainable energy. Trump’s proposal to eliminate this program comes just a few weeks before ARPA-E’s 2018 Energy Innovation Summit and on the very day that proposals were due for its latest round of funding.
- The Global Climate Change Initiative, a joint operation of the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development ($160 million). The budget proposal says this is “consistent with the President’s plan to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.”
- The popular and effective Energy Star Program ($66 million), which has helped to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by at least 8 million metric tons. The Trump budget says this is not part of the EPA’s core mission (even though the program is actually co-managed by the Department of Energy) and “can be implemented by the private sector.”
- The Environmental Protection Agency’s categorical grants ($1.066 billion), which provides states with “funds to implement the various water, air, waste, pesticides and toxic substances programs.”
- The Department of Agriculture’s little-known but…