By Keith Zukowski May 23, 2017

Hearing the words “federal budget” will make even the most devout political insider’s eyes cross in preparation of the governmental gobbledygook that they’re about to hear. So let’s cut through the red tape and get straight to the one number you need to know: 31%.

31% is the proposed cut to the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency—the agency that is responsible for keeping our air and water clean, American families safe, and thwarting the terrifying future of runaway climate change. That’s a 31% budget reduction for an agency that is already nearly at its lowest real operating cost in 40 years.

Trump’s latest budget reinforces where his focus lies: unshackling major polluters and energy insiders at the expense of the American people. While Americans across the country view the EPA for what it is—a critical protector of American health, prosperity and well-being—Trump sees it as little more than a way to cut costs. Unfortunately, those savings will cut deep, and the American people are the ones who will hurt the most, now and in the future.

A look through Trump’s budget shows exactly how he plans to reach that 31% reduction, and the reality is frightening:

  • The budget would cut funding for programs that clean up Superfund and brownfield sites—those are sites containing toxic, hazardous waste.
  • Clean air compliance programs—ones that monitor dangerous things like mercury, acid gas and smog pollution—would be scaled back, exposing children and the elderly to potentially life-threatening pollution.
  • Lead protections are on the chopping block. In the wake of the tragedies in Flint, MI, East Chicago, IN, and elsewhere, we should be more focused on preventing lead poisoning, not less.
  • The Climate Action Plan—President Obama’s signature achievement in the fight against climate change—would be virtually zeroed out.

All of this is to say: it’s imperative that we fight back. Trump’s proposed budget is currently no more than a polluter’s dream, and the American people must make sure it does not become our nightmare.

With our members of Congress responsible for vetting and approving all fiscal budgets, we can apply the political pressure to let them know we will not accept a budget that does anything to hamper the critical work of the EPA. Click here to tell them: American lives are literally on the line, and it’s up to us to defend them, both now and for the future.