Not only has President Trump failed to clean up any swamps in Washington or elsewhere, but his new budget—if passed—will ensure that there are toxic swamps all over the country.
Trump’s new budget slashes the EPA’s budget by 26%, at the same time as his toadies at the agency cynically claim that the EPA will focus on its “core mission—providing Americans with clean air, clean water and ensuring chemical safety”. That’s a bald-faced lie. It’s impossible for the EPA to guarantee that with 26% less staff and $2.4 billion less in funding—the cuts proposed by Trump.
The most telling piece of the president’s budget is the cut to the EPA’s Superfund program. Trump’s disdain for people suffering from toxic pollution is evident in his proposed 10% cut of a program that currently has the longest backlog of toxic waste cleanup in 15 years. For lack of enough Superfund money, children are being exposed to the nastiest, most carcinogenic, toxic chemicals in their air and water while waiting for the government to clean up their neighborhoods and towns. If Trump actually cared about people—or clean air and water for that matter– he would beef up this program instead of letting regular folks twist in the wind.
But Trump has never been all about the little people. As long as his cronies in big business can make money polluting, he’s all for it. That’s why his budget calls for cutting almost by half the research and development funding at the EPA. This research is critical to protecting the health of our citizens. If you don’t have a budget to study the health effects of a particular toxic chemical, it is hard to warn the public about it or create exposure limits. This is fine with the chemical industry which makes billions in profits while belching toxins into communities across the country.
Moreover, because it’s Trump, there is some cynical, self-interested, partisan maneuvering included in his proposed EPA budget. It’s bad enough that his plan calls for the elimination of another 50 EPA programs, it’s worse that they are apparently not randomly selected. For example, waterway protection projects in blue states are defunded while similar projects in swing states remain untouched. More evidence that Trump is evidently willing to do anything—intimidate a foreign government, harm children’s health—as long as it helps him stay in power.
Added to the EPA’s already polluter friendly policies–deregulation, stopping scientific studies, hiring industry shills to run the EPA, rolling back environmental protection rules, putting polluter’s profits first, and denying climate change–Trump’s latest proposed EPA budget is just another bucket of sludge added to his already toxic environmental swamp.