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Pruitt: We'll focus research on EPA 'priorities' -- not necessarily climate change


"It's dead on arrival - It's not going to happen", said Sen. While the specific decisions are not yet final, the Office of Management and Budget is reportedly looking to reduce EPA staff by one-fifth in the first year, from 15,000 to 12,000, and to possibly cut the agency's Office of Research and Development by as much as 42 percent, multiple officials briefed on the plans revealed.

The proposal cuts the EPA's $8.1 billion budget by almost $2 billion and would also potentially eliminate one-fifth of the agency's 15,000-person workforce, reducing the EPA to its funding and staffing levels of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

On Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order asking the EPA, and its new leader Scott Pruitt, to review and rewrite the 2015 Waters of the United States rules, a major effort in former President Barack Obama's environmental legacy.

The EPA has been a focal point of the Trump administration because it sees the agencys use of environmental laws to regulate polluting industries as overly intrusive and burdensome to businesses. The EPA's environmental justice department provides crucial grants to lower-income communities and communities of color to help address pollution from industrial facilities and agricultural operations near their neighborhoods.


The proposal also dictates cutting the agency's grants to states, and its air and water programs by 30 percent and eliminating 38 separate programs. “A 25 percent budget cut would likely decimate EPAs ability to enforce core environmental programs that protect the public from harmful air and water pollution.”.

The Republican-led Congress would have to approve any EPA cuts.

As soon as Monday, President Donald Trump is slated to sign documents compelling the EPA to begin undoing recent regulations, including the Clean Power Plan that slashes greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation and the Waters of the US rule that defined which waterways are subject to pollution regulation.

Trump, who has expressed doubts about established climate science, has promised to reverse the Obama administrations most sweeping climate regulation, the EPAs Clean Power Plan, which would slash emissions from existing coal-fired power plants to cut US greenhouse gas emissions.

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