Carol Muffett: Federal Budget Plan is a testament to the recklessness, nihilism, and gross incompetence of this Administration

March 16, 2017 – Carroll Muffett is President of CIEL

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) condemns the federal budget plan released today by the Trump Administration. The budget launches an outright assault on climate progress, eviscerates research and regulatory programs critical to protecting human health and the environment, abandons our country’s commitments to human rights and human development, signals a profound retreat from the global community, commits the nation and the world to decades of scientific ignorance, squanders critical natural and fiscal resources on dead end technologies, and endangers people across the United States and around the world under the false mantle of military security.

This budget is a testament to the recklessness, nihilism, and gross incompetence that are the defining features of this Administration.

Trump’s budget would eliminate funding for researching, mitigating, and responding to climate change both in the United States and internationally. Even as his own Defense Secretary recognizes climate change as a threat to national security, Trump’s plan would exacerbate that threat by blocking funding for the Clean Power Plan, eliminating the Global Climate Change Initiative, and ending US contributions to the Green Climate Fund and related programs. It slashes funding for renewable energy and clean technology research and ends efficiency programs like Energy Star that help Americans save both carbon and money. And it squanders both natural and fiscal resources to expand oil, gas, and coal extraction on public lands and waters. In so doing, Trump abandons the chance to create millions of new jobs building a sustainable economy in a futile attempt to resurrect dirty, dying, and dead end industries.

This budget escalates Trump’s assault on science in dangerous new ways. It would cripple critical research at the EPA, impose draconian cuts at NOAA, and terminate NASA satellite programs that provide critical information on the health of our oceans, atmosphere, and climate, intentionally creating a blindspot in data that is fundamental to global environmental understanding.

The budget decimate the EPA’s ability to enforce the regulations that protect ensure clean air, clean water, and fewer toxic chemicals for all Americans, and abandons vitally needed programs to address emerging environmental and health threats, including the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.

It also abandons the United States’ role in the international community, slashing funding for human rights, development, humanitarian relief and peacekeeping efforts worldwide – including the United Nations and related agencies.

Trump’s budget is a betrayal of our obligations to the world, to future generations, and to ourselves. It proves Trump is fundamentally incapable of governance and adds fuel to the rising resistance to his Administration in the United States and globally.

Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has used the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society.  www.ciel.org