Mar 18, 2017 10:06 AM EDT
President Donald Trump's 2018 budget is endangering the planet; a blunt description of critics after the proposed cut on science, environmental, and health programs. The said budget slash is going to affect both domestic and foreign aid expenditures. At any rate, the long debate is on and the Congress has to scrutinize the proposed cuts before it can take effect.
Environmentalists are particularly shocked about the announcement, calling Trump's decision as "drastic." While science programs will be sidelined, defense spending will benefit from the cut. 2018 US budget will fund an additional $52 billion to defense while sourcing them out from environmental and science-related programs.
The biggest impact could be on the Environmental Protection Agency which is being threatened with losing a bulk of its manpower, NDTV said. Some 3,200 jobs are at risk due to 31 percent proposed funding cut. As against to its current budget, EPA will likely suffer from $5.7 billion slash. The White House justified that by ending the funds for former president Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, the US can save $100 million for American taxpayers.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will also suffer a huge backlash with Trump's streamlined budget. Around 20 percent of UN's climate change programs or around $5 million are from US contributions. UNFCCC spokesperson Nick Nuttal said that all the agency could do for now is to follow the developments of proposed 2018 budget in the US Congress.
On the direct impact, the restoration programs for Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes will abruptly end. EPA will also end its Energy Star certification program for appliances which ensures that they are environment-friendly. Also threatened with huge cut are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard, The Washington Post said. A staggering $990 million cut in their budget was proposed.
On the health sector, the National Institutes of Health would lose 18 percent or $5.8 billion of its budget. NIH is the main medical and health research mechanism of the US.