Reactions to the Trump Administration’s first proposed budget-slashing 2018 budget were strong and varied.
Energy efficiency: The federal budget outline took a meat cleaver to energy efficiency programs, said Steve Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, “cutting both muscle and bone.” On the block were the Energy Star program, energy conservation research and development, the Weatherization Assistance program and public transit funding. At least 2.2 million Americans work in Energy Star-related jobs, he added.
Agriculture: The proposed 21% cut to USDA “dramatically underestimates the economic urgency facing rural America,” responded Andrew Bahrenburg, National Young Farmers Coalition’s national policy director. “It would take us backward, and make rural life a less viable option for entrepreneurial young Americans. It’s a strange message for President Trump to send to the rural voters that helped elect him.”
Conservation: National Association of Conservation Districts was extremely disappointed that the proposed budget calls for reducing staff at USDA Service Center Agencies, noted NACD Present Brent Van Dyke. But he added: “We look forward to the president releasing a more thorough budget in the coming weeks and will continue to work with Congress to ensure strong funding."
Incentive-based conservation programs are crucial to promoting wise and responsible use of natural resources in this country. “Without USDA conservation programs, America’s farmers, ranchers, and communities won't have the resources or assistance needed to keep our soils healthy, our water clean, and our wildlife abundant,” he added.
Environment: The proposed budget calls for a 31% cut to the EPA, including a 45% reduction in grants to states for activities to protect the environment, a 30% cut to the Superfund program, and a 23% cut to the Office of Enforcement. That would eliminate specific efforts to protect the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and other geographic programs, charges Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch
It obliterates climate-related programs, such as the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, and climate change research and partnership programs, she added.
As proposed, EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program annual budget would be slashed from $73 million to $0. It would eliminate the program, according to Larry Schweiger, PennFuture’s president and CEO. “It would make it impossible for Pennsylvania to meet its Total Maximum Daily Load obligations required by the Clean Water Act to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and restore local streams in the Susquehanna River watershed.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were critical of plans to cut rural and farm programs. – CNBC
Even some of Donald Trump's most vocal supporters in Congress criticized the president's first budget proposal. – The Washington Post
When it comes to science, there are few winners in President Trump's budget. - Nature