No Trump-Sought Cuts in Funding for Climate and Environmental Programs

Penguin, Ocean, Climate Change-AP

Despite the budget cuts President Donald Trump has said he wants to federal programs that focus on climate change and other environmental issues, research in these areas is being funded in some parts of the proposed budget plan.

The plan was released just after midnight by the House Rules Committee that would fund the government through September.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for example, would actually see increases in some of those programs, even if overall its budget would be reduced by 1.5 percent.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service — which states its mission “is to provide science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our ocean and coasts” — would get $517.4 million, or $17.3 million more than its current funding.

The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Office, which includes research directed at climate change, gets a $15.8 million increase. Climate specific research would get $158 million.

“Congress appears to have largely ignored President Trump’s calls to eliminate key programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, releasing a bipartisan spending deal today that funds climate, coastal and Great Lakes research,” E&E News reported on Monday.

Trump had asked specifically for a cut of $30 million to the National Sea Grant Service, with its complete elimination in fiscal year 2018, but Congress continues to fully fund it in this proposed budget at $65 million.

Trump’s “America First” budget blueprint “Zeroes out over $250 million in targeted National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education including Sea Grant, which primarily benefits industry and State and local stakeholders. These programs are a lower priority than core functions maintained in the Budget such as surveys, charting, and fisheries management.”

And, ironically, Trump’s budget plan asked for a $1 billion investment in the National Weather Service, which would, under Congress’s plan, see $9 million less in funding.

Both Trump and former President Barack Obama tried to eliminate the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, but this budget fully funds it at $65 million, Greenwire reported.


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