Maine’s economy depends on our natural resources, and we rely on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to defend and enforce safeguards for our environment, health, and economy. Nevertheless, the Trump Administration singled out the Environmental Protection Agency for the largest budget cuts of any domestic agency in 2017 with proposed cuts of 31 percent, slashing the budget to below 1970s levels. These cuts would shrink the EPA’s workforce by more than 20 percent, 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, and we need to see increases in their funding, not sweeping cuts.
In addition to devastating proposed budget cuts, the President is appointing administrators at EPA who have close ties to polluting industries they’re charged with regulating. The current Administrator of EPA, Scott Pruitt, had sued the EPA multiple times in the years leading up to his nomination, seeking to overturn the Agency’s standards limiting dangerous emissions from power plants. Both 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 past year in office, Pruitt has worked to derail more environmental safeguards in a shorter period of time than ever before in EPA’s 47-year history.
The Trump Administration continues to appoint anti-environment, anti-science deputy administrators to join Pruitt at EPA, and Maine’s Senators play a crucial role in stopping the approval of these nominees. Senator Collins was the only Republican to oppose Pruitt’s nomination, and was one of three Republicans whose vocal opposition lead to the withdrawal of Michael Dourson’s nomination, a former chemical lobbyist nominated to regulate the chemical industry.
At NRCM, we’re defending the Environmental Protection Agency’s legacy of good work, and holding its overseers accountable for doing fulfilling the agency’s responsibilities.
Banner photo by Benjamin Williamson