Cuts in Energy and Environment Programs Endanger Public Health and Economic Growth

Press Release February 13, 2018

Washington, D.C. – The administration’s proposed budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy would undermine our nation’s commitment to clean air and public health, said National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon.

“For the second year in a row, this administration has made clear its disdain for the men and women of the federal workforce who have committed their careers to environmental protection and renewable energy,” Reardon said.

The administration is proposing $6.14 billion for the EPA, a 24 percent reduction from current levels and deep enough to trigger staff buyouts and layoffs.

“Only with our tough environmental laws and the civil servants of the EPA on the job to enforce them can we protect ourselves and our children from the harmful effects of pollution,” Reardon said. “Cutting staff and rolling back those programs make us poor stewards of the environment our children and grandchildren will inherit.”

At the DOE, the administration recommends a slight overall budget increase to $30.6 billion but would shift money away from important advanced energy research programs in favor of increases at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Specifically, the proposal cuts the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program by more than 65 percent, undercutting the government’s role in economic development.

According to the Energy Department’s own statistics, the $20 billion taxpayer investment in EERE over the last 12 years has yielded a net economic benefit to the country of $230 billion. The office supports research and development that is used in advanced manufacturing, biofuels, modernizing the national power grid, electric cars, solar power and wind energy.

“While it is unsettling to see such disregard for the EPA and the DOE in the budget proposal, we believe Congress and the American people will reject the proposed cuts and fund these valued programs adequately,” Reardon said.

NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 32 federal agencies and departments.