President Trump hopes to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 15,000 person staff by at least half, says Myron Ebell, Trump’s former head of the EPA transition team.
According to the Washington Examiner:
“Let’s aim for half and see how it works out, and then maybe we’ll want to go further,” Myron Ebell said now that he has returned to his position as director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Other reports say Ebell wants the staffing level to be on par with that 45 years ago when the EPA was started during the administration of former Republican President Richard Nixon. That would mean as few as 5,000 employees would remain.
“President Trump said during the campaign that he would like to abolish the EPA, or ‘leave a little bit,'” Ebell said. “I think the administration is likely to start proposing cuts to the 15,000 staff, because the fact is that a huge amount of the work of the EPA is actually done by state agencies. It’s not clear why so many employees are needed at the federal level.”
Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general to serve as his EPA Director. Pruitt has been a voracious opponent of environmental regulations and has promised to dismantle Obama-era EPA regulations, including the Clean Power Plan.
To aid worried EPA staffers, the agency will offer counseling:
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 27, 2017
The advertised seminar, entitled “Feeling Pressured? Worried About Change at EPA?”, appears to consists of a 45 minute session on how to deal with change and how to “stop yourself from getting hurt and/or angry”. EPA Spokeswoman Enersta Jones told Axios that the agency has frequent training seminars and that “This is just one of the more recent ones that were offered.”