SEEC Leadership Responds to Reported Cuts of 20-25 Percent at the Environmental Protection Agency

Mar 6, 2017 Issues: Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Water

Washington D.C. – It has been reported that the Trump Administration plans to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by almost 25 percent and eliminate 20 percent of staff. EPA plays a critical role in the protection of our clean air and water and supports the clean-up of contaminated sites around the country, often in the form of grants to states. SEEC Leadership Members released the following statements in response to these proposed cuts.

SEEC Co-Chair Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20)

“I am appalled by reports of massive cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency. Stripping funding for clean air and water threatens the health and safety of our communities and the long-term environmental and economic security of our nation. Such heavy cuts would also leave New York and many other states with significant budget shortfalls as they struggle to balance their myriad other expenses with the need to improve air quality, fix water systems, reduce carbon pollution, and manage environmental cleanup projects that put valuable land back to work. Congress must reject any budget that fails to make necessary investments that protect our people and our environment.”

SEEC Co-Chair Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06)

“Cuts to the EPA will only damage the public health and environmental security of the American people. Because of the EPA, we have cleaner air, cleaner water, and are on the path to reversing the damaging effects of climate change. In the Sacramento region, we’ve advanced important environmental clean-up projects with the support of the EPA. These are investments in the well-being of our communities, and they must be protected.”  

SEEC Co-Chair Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)

“President Trump’s proposed cuts to EPA would be a devastating setback for our nation’s clean air, clean water, and public health safety. This continues a deeply troubling trend of this Administration’s repeated assaults on environmental protections and basic science. Few agencies have been harder hit in recent years than the EPA. It is an agency we should be investing in, not dismantling. As Green Dogs, we will vigorously oppose these draconian cuts.”

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05)

“Our greatest responsibility to future generations is to ensure that we pass down an environment that is clean and healthy. Well managed natural resources are vital to our future and the underpinnings of a sustainable economy. The President’s dangerous budget proposal and severe programmatic changes to the Environmental Protection Agency will not help preserve the planet for our kids and grandchildren and will do irreparable harm to the future of our country. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition, I will fight to ensure that environmental protection gets the federal funding it needs. While our country’s debt is undoubtedly an important concern, the way to reform government spending is not to sacrifice the land we live on and our country’s vital natural spaces.”

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)

“President Trump’s EPA budget is reckless, irresponsible, and will no doubt make America polluted again. Weakening protection for clean air and water amounts to a handout for corporate polluters and will come at the cost of the American people’s health,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.  “Many vital programs are on the chopping block, including enormously popular Brownfield grants, which have cleaned up many polluted sites in my state so they can be redeveloped and create jobs. As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, I will fight hard against this dangerous budget.”

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-17)

“The EPA is vital in protecting clean water and clean air in our communities. While it is important to balance the budget, it must not be done in a way that threatens public health and environmental security. The EPA’s budget has already been slashed in recent years, and continual weakening of the agency will jeopardize the economy, health, and environment in Pennsylvania and across the country. We must strengthen, not cut, programs that reduce pollution, safeguard our natural resources, and combat climate change.”

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02)

“The EPA’s ability to save lives and enhance and expand America’s economy will be dramatically weakened because of these reckless cuts. Without these funds states like Colorado will be unable to protect clean drinking water and clean air.  We cannot afford to go back to a time when the front range had a layer of smog causing coughing fits for children with asthma every day of the year,” Polis said.

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)

“Draconian cuts at the EPA will harm American families.  From cleaning up air pollution and monitoring ozone in heavy transit corridors, to writing commonsense rules to limit pollution on our beaches, our communities benefit from the work of the EPA. Pollution crosses state lines and community boundaries, and we need an EPA with the capacity to help communities across our country be safe, healthy places to live.”