Trump’s Proposed Budget Eviscerates Federal Science, Rural and Environmental Programs

Statement by Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Feb 12, 2018

WASHINGTON (February 12, 2018)—President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2019 budget is yet another sign of this administration’s hostility to scientific research and technological development across all science-based agencies. The budget would impose severe cuts on health, science, environmental and safety net programs, while throwing billions of additional dollars at a flawed program intended to intercept incoming missiles, and billions more for nuclear weapons programs including at least one new nuclear warhead.

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

“All of us know from personal experience that we make the best decisions when we gather information, rely on experts and impacted community members to enlighten us, and think long-term. The president’s budget violates all of these common-sense values and practices.

“The president’s budget is an assault on the vital role that federal scientists perform in gathering information that we need to make good public policy. His budget would cut the EPA’s funding by a third, and targets the research arm of the EPA with a 40 percent cut, therefore threatening the work of scientists who evaluate the hazards posed by toxic pollutants and advise us on where hazardous pollutants might travel if released into the environment.

“His budget again proposes eliminating the Energy Department’s cutting-edge energy innovation program, ARPA-E, and significantly cuts funding for other pioneering clean energy programs. Federal laboratories would wither. The EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuels Emission Lab, which analyzes the potential for cleaner cars and spot checks automaker’s emissions compliance, would be hamstrung—leaving the door open to more emissions cheating scandals. The president’s budget also proposes deep cuts to two major climate research programs: NOAA’s satellite program as well as the work being done by NASA’s Earth Science division. 

“And while the White House claims its infrastructure plan will boost rural communities, the administration pulled a sleight of hand to these communities by cutting a slew of USDA’s agriculture research and technical assistance programs that support farms, clean water and a safe food supply. 

“We need a government that values and invests in our long-term scientific capacity, public health protections and clean energy leadership. Members of Congress should oppose this budget and fund these agencies in a clean spending bill with no ‘poison pill’ anti-science riders.”