Trump EPA budget plan taking aim at climate, clean-up accounts: report

Trump EPA budget plan taking aim at climate, clean-up accounts: report
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The White House is considering cutting funding for a series of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs, including several that are popular with lawmakers, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. 

President Trump is considering a 24 percent reduction in the EPA’s $8.1 billion budget, with programs on the chopping block including grants for clean-up work at brownfields industrial waste sites, the Energy Star energy efficiency program, climate change efforts and funding for Alaskan native villages, according to the report.

The White House could also propose a 42 percent cut to the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. 

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A proposed EPA budget with the deep cuts Trump is reportedly considering would slash programming at the agency and thousands of jobs. It would be part of a $54 billion reduction in discretionary domestic spending that the White House telegraphed earlier this week.

But any spending plan would need to pass through Congress, and several of the proposals outlined in the Post report are likely to garner bipartisan resistance. 

Republicans could end up supporting efforts to zero-out climate change initiatives. But the EnergyStar program, which outlines energy efficiency measures for consumer and industrial appliances, is popular with business groups, a key constituency for members.

And the EPA appropriations committee in the Senate is chaired by Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Alaska), who will likely resist efforts to cut funding for native villages in her home state. 

Key moderate GOP appropriators in the House on Tuesday were hesitant about cuts as deep as those the White House wants.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt himself said he’s “concerned” with some of the cuts outlined by the White House.

Pruitt told E&E News after Trump's address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday that he will push administration officials to protect funding for state grants that go to water infrastructure and Superfund site clean-up programs.

Trump is due to release top-line budget numbers later this month and could release his full budget proposal in early May.