Donald Trump and his combative head of the EPA Scott Pruitt have made little attempt to disguise their intention to eliminate or handicap as many environmental programs and laws as possibleduring their time in power. Most vulnerable seem to be those passed by the previous Obama administration. Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 would have dramatically slashed funding for NASA’s Earth Science Division. This Division operates the satellites that monitor our planet’s forests, oceans and atmosphere.
With multiple severe hurricanes recently wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and US, logic might dictate this be the last agency facing budget cuts. However, since the Agency’s work tracks the effects of climate change, it runs afoul of Trump and Pruitt’s ideological agenda. (photo – satellite image shows where Alaska’s Columbia Glacier has melted away. NASA)
NASA, NOAA and EPA Programs Saved!
Good news prevails: Congress rejected many of the administration’s proposed cuts to environmental, coast management and climate change programs! Of special concern were the proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. These cuts would have eliminated 31% of its budget and over 50 programs protecting the environment and water. The budgets for NASA and NOAA also faced severe cuts. Fortunately, the funding for both agencies was maintained or increased slightly!
Maybe these budgets slid through because Trump didn’t read the fine print or even the first page. He did, however, loudly express his disapproval of the budget’s $1.3 trillion spending total, vowing to never sign another one.
Altogether this appears to be a victory for the environment. However, hot on the heels of good news follows the bad; the 2019 budget plan was released. Trump is proposing similar funding cuts to these agencies for the coming year. (photo – Daniel Huizinga)
Our advice? Remain vigilant. Follow events organized by environmental organizations. Join the campaign to defend the EPA, NASA and NOAA by telling Congress to reject these massive budget cuts. Read Read about some of the past events that have caught the attention of Congress. Visit these websites to find out what is happening now:
Blue Vision Summit’s March for the Ocean
The next March for the Ocean occurs this World Oceans Day June 9, 2018 in Washington DC. Join the rising tide meeting with their representatives on Capitol Hill to make your voice heard and protest 2019 cuts!
Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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