Proposed national budget

SHANNON STEWART

Philadelphia

The Trump Administration recently proposed cuts to the budgets of agencies responsible for monitoring the nation’s energy and environmental policies, including a 31% cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

These cuts will completely disrupt the EPA’s ability to protect public health and the environment. With former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as the head of the EPA, the agency claims the cuts are imperative to reduce unnecessary spending.

However, these cuts place clean air and water in jeopardy for many citizens. The current administration is not considering the impacts on the environment and human health caused by these cutbacks and it seems as though the administration has made it their mission to cut environmental protections and put our health and safety in jeopardy. Along with these proposed budget cuts, the current Administration is seeking to rollback critical environmental protections like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

If diminished, many people could be put at greater risk of breathing in increased mercury pollution. Most at risk are pregnant women, the elderly, and children.

The proactive action by the current Administration to harm human health and endanger the environment is why I decided to intern with Defend Our Future, a nonpartisan climate action group on the Temple University campus.

In January, Defend Our Future held a press conference in Philadelphia opposing the rollback of the MATS rule and Philadelphia’s City Council responded by unanimously passing a resolution supporting the rule, proving the importance of people power on this issue.

I urge our Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey to listen to the City of Philadelphia by voting against any budget the includes cuts to the EPA.

COMMENTS