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Trump’s budget would eviscerate environmental agencies

March Madness is truly upon us. President Trump’s budget proposes to boost military spending at the expense of all other domestic discretionary spending—and the cuts are "yuge." Funding for climate science—which spans multiple agencies—is on the chopping block, and environmental agencies are slated for massive cuts. Atop the hit list is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the budget for which the White House wants to slash by 31 percent. Upwards of 3,200 EPA employees—more than 20 percent of the agency’s current workforce of 15,000—would be fired. Programs to be slashed include those for Energy Star, Superfund sites, air-quality monitoring, and cleanup of America’s most iconic bodies of water, including the Great Lakes, Puget Sound, and Chesapeake Bay. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is in line for a 20 percent budget reduction, and the budget for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services would drop by 18 percent, including a $32 billion loss for the National Institutes of Health. The Department of Commerce would see a 16 percent decline, with the biggest hit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, hampering critical climate change and ocean research. The U.S. Department of Transportation budget would decline by nearly 13 percent, with targeted cuts for Amtrak and local transit agencies. The U.S. Department of the Interior faces a  12 percent cut, mostly from eliminating funding to acquire lands for conservation while boosting funding for energy development—both offshore and in protected places such as in national parks and wildlife refuges. The U.S. Department of Energy would be cut by 18 percent, including a $900 million cut to its Office of Science.

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