Saturday, March 04, 2017

Trump And Pruitt Are Slashing Great Lakes Clean Up Funding From $300 Million To... $10 Million


Trump wants to build up the military and cut taxes for the wealthy, so he's busy slashing budgets. One victim is funding for Great Lakes cleanup-- by a phenomenal 97%! Is that what he meant by Making America Great Again? That's a fifth of the world's freshwater!
The White House is proposing to slash Environmental Protection Agency funding that pays for Great Lakes pollution cleanup by 97 percent, according to a budget document obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.

The potential cuts are part of President Donald Trump's initial 2018 budget proposal, detailed in a U.S. Office of Management and Budget "passback" to the EPA that outlines drastic cuts to an agency Trump has called a "job killer" and promised to reduce to "tidbits" as a candidate.

The proposal would virtually eliminate annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding, slashing it from $300 million to $10 million among other cuts that would altogether reduce the EPA's total budget by a quarter.

...The GLRI funds state and local projects that combat invasive species, restore wildlife habitats and clean up watersheds polluted by a Rust Belt economic legacy across the eight-state Great Lakes region. It has traditionally enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress, who in the past have restored smaller, $50 million cuts proposed under President Barack Obama.

In December, Congress authorized the GLRI at $300 million a year through 2021 with standalone authorization, meaning Congress could choose to restore funding up to that level each year even if Trump holds to the proposed cut.

Brian Patrick, spokesperson for U.S. House Great Lakes Task Force Chair Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said the White House could expect Republican pushback from the delegation if the proposed GLRI cuts remain.

...A coalition of environmental and conservation groups that advocates for GLRI funding said the cuts would devastate a working program.
I bet this isn't something the Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania voters who gave us Trump had in mind! Nor what voters in upstate New York near Lakes Ontario and Erie had in mind-- nor the voters in MN-08 along the western shores of Lake Superior. Huizenga's district, (MI-02) stretches along Lake Michigan from Macatawa, past Grand Haven, Muskegon right up to the shore of Hamlin Lake. People are serious about lake living-- deadly serious. I wonder how many are having an "oops" moment. After all, Trump won MI-02 by a wide margin-- 55.8% to 38.2%. It was one of the districts that gave Trump his 11,692 votes win (out of 4.5 million votes cast statewide) in Michigan.

Four New York districts bordering on Great Lakes went for Trump, including Chris Collins' district, NY-27, which is the only congressional district that is located along both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie... and gave Trump his widest margin anywhere in the state-- 59.7% to 35.2%. These are how many people in the Lake shore counties that are part of NY-27 voted for Trump:
Erie- 188,303
Niagara- 51,961
Orleans- 10,936
There are 10 Republicans on the House Great Lakes Task Force-- Jack Bergman (R-MI), Chris Collins (R-NY), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), David Joyce (R-OH), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Fred Upton (R-MI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN). Trump won all their districts.

Virulent anti-environment congressman Peter Roskam chose not to join the Task Force even though the social and economic importance of the Illinois coast is gigantic, bordering, the most populous part of the state and including some of the most valued real estate in the Midwest. It's the most densely populated coastal area in the entire Great Lakes region, extending 63 miles along the southern reach of the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state’s jurisdiction extends across a portion of the lake, covering approximately 1,500 square miles. Roskam's likely opponent in 2018 is Geoff Petzel, who has a very different perspective on environmental protection than Roskam. And Petzel has been very outspoken about Trump's threats to the EPA. Friday he told us that "unfortunately, Trump's proposal to cut EPA funding is consistent with the overall position of his administration. It is remarkably pro-business and racist. First and foremost, his proposal would eliminate the environmental justice programs the EPA administers in generally low income, high minority, heavily polluted urban areas. These programs are intended to reduce pollution and avoid new pollution sources from being placed in low income and minority communities where these populations are often unable to fight back and already have a disproportionally high concentration of polluting facilities. Trump's proposal also ensures that environmental enforcement budgets will be slashed and large companies will be able to pollute more without fear of enforcement. Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp… his recent decision to overturn an Obama Administration rule that protects wetlands and streams ensures that Donald Trump’s decisions will literally cause the draining of swamps. Now with his budget cuts, we will also be faced with dirtier waters, dirtier air and a less healthy environment."

I wonder how many Republican congressman with districts along the shores of the Great Lakes are going to lose their seats in 2018 over this. And seperately, the Washington Post reported yesterday that the Regime is slashing the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which would also "eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and ‘coastal resilience,’ which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas." This is one of the country's top climate science agencies and the Regime is eager to deliver "steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs."

UPDATE: It's Not Just The Great Lakes, Of Course

This morning Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) explained this catastrophic budget proposal to her Seattle constituents, because Trump's plan envisions a 93% cut to critical efforts to restore Puget Sound.
President Trump is adamant about destroying everything we cherish as a community. Reports of a budget proposal from the administration that would cut 93% of EPA's funding to restore and recover the Sound would devastate our local economy, and ruin one of Washington’s most essential bodies of water.

There are few things more important to the future of our children than our air, water, and human health. This is what the EPA oversees. By slashing this agency, President Trump is putting our children and our planet at great risk. I intend to do everything I can to fight back against the Trump administration’s irresponsible, ill-conceived budget proposals.

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At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

And they call themselves patriots. Make America Stink Again. At least the Republican party is now being exposed for what it really believes in and it is not for the betterment of this country. Trump and his Republicans aim to ruin much of everything at warp speed.

The deplorables are deplorable, ignorant, self-destructive morons. Hillary should never apologize for this term, it was on target and the truth. There will always be those against what is good and to not call these people out for what they are is the travesty. Dems need to get some teeth and speak the truth with gusto. They will never get anywhere if they are frightened of alienating anyone and their major aim is to attract the deplorables. It is a waste of time and energy and will get them nowhere. They must focus instead on speaking out the truth, pointing out the lies, ending voter suppression and gerrymandering and bringing out the vote. if the deplorables change their tune when they see that they are being hurt by the Republicans so much the better. If not and they stick to their love of Trump, fuck them.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Among other problems, I think there's an ease with which some entitled people dismiss the land and water that is not adjacent to them. Like the crazy that goes with a sense of entitlement in the first place, it is all, "out there," in some foggy mist called, "flyover land." And the people there aren't real, like you are. They're just cardboard cutouts, props for you. They don't need clean water.

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there was any justice in the universe, Trump would have to drink nothing but water from Flint. He better thank Mammon that there is no deity to force him.

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering that Koch-sucker Obama allowed BP to resume dumping toxic waste into Lake Michigan, why waste $300 million trying to keep up with the corruption? The Kochs themselves are working the Lake Huron destruction out of Detroit. Those involved must be laughing at the $300 million as incredibly wasteful since it isn't nearly enough to undo the damage being caused.


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