The Associated Press has reported that the Trump administration is planning significant cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), possibly up to half of the agency’s employees.
Myron Ebell, the former leader of Donald Trump’s EPA transition team, said that the cuts shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody.
“President Trump made some very definite promises in the campaign in the areas of energy, environment and climate, so I think no one should be surprised, because he’s made it clear throughout the transition that he intends to keep the promises that he made during the campaign,” said Ebell.
He added, “The EPA’s work has largely been accomplished in terms of protecting our environment. There are still some challenges, but they’re challenges that are not largely national, they are mostly regional or local.”
According to the AP report, Ebell wouldn’t get into any specific numbers of agency employees targeted for cuts, but when asked he did say that cutting the workforce in half would be a good start. “Let’s aim for half and see how it works out, and then maybe we’ll want to go further,” said Ebell.
The EPA’s proposed FY 2017 budget is roughly $8.2 billion. According to what Ebell told the Associated Press, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the Trump administration to cut that by about $1 billion, or approximately 12%.
The video above includes some of Ebell’s comments about the EPA from an interview with the Associated Press this week.