Watch our webinar about Maine’s response to the Trump Administration’s rollbacks to the nation’s critical environmental and public health protections.
Over the past three and a half years, we have seen the Trump Administration irresponsibly roll back close to 100 environmental and public health protections. Now more than ever, our nation’s leaders should be doing all they can to protect people’s health and future, not undermine it. At NRCM, we’re defending the Environmental Protection Agency’s legacy of good work, and holding its overseers accountable for fulfilling the agency’s responsibilities.
Maine’s economy depends on our natural resources. Our state’s future relies on a strong Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and important bedrock environmental laws to defend and enforce safeguards for our environment, health, and economy. Since the Trump Administration took office, they have singled out the EPA for the largest budget cuts of any domestic agency with proposed cuts of 31 percent, in 2017, 2019, and 2020 and 23% in 2018. These cuts would have slashed the budget to below 1970s levels, shrunk the EPA’s workforce by more than 20%, completely eliminate more than 50 EPA programs, and cripple the ability of the Agency to protect our air, water, and health. EPA’s budget has been slowly chipped away at over the past decade. We need to see increases in its funding, not sweeping cuts. NRCM was one of hundreds of organizations that pushed back and worked with Maine’s Congressional delegation to push back against the gutting of the EPA.
The Trump Administration has also been appointing administrators at EPA who have close ties to the polluting industries they’re charged with regulating. The current Administrator of EPA, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist with multiple conflicts of interests. He was appointed after the previous Administrator Scott Pruitt (2017-2018) resigned amid ethics scandals in 2018.
Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King voted against the confirmation of Pruitt due to his anti-environment actions, close ties to polluting industries, and clear opposition to the mission of the Agency. During his time in office, Pruitt worked to derail more environmental safeguards in a shorter period of time than ever before in EPA’s 47-year history. Current Administrator Wheeler continues this unprecedented assault on our health and environmental protections.
The Trump Administration continues to undermine science by appointing anti-environment administrators at EPA and other agencies. Maine’s Senators will play a crucial role in the approval of these nominees. Senator Collins was the only Republican to oppose both Pruitt’s and Wheeler’s nominations, and was one of three Republicans whose vocal opposition led to the withdrawal of Michael Dourson’s nomination. Dourson was a former chemical lobbyist nominated to regulate the chemical industry.
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Banner photo by Benjamin Williamson