Rabe in Scientific American: draconian budget cuts to environmental programs

March 24, 2017

"Trump Wants Deep Cuts in Environmental Monitoring," an article published by Scientific American on March 24, 2017, takes reactions from environmental policy experts, including Barry Rabe of the Ford School of Public Policy, to the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts of major environmental programs and agencies.

Among the most extreme cuts being proposed are aimed at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The administration hopes to reduce the EPA's budget by 31 percent, eliminating 3,200 positions out of nearly 15,000 and cutting the agency's Office of Research and Development budget in half. 

“It’s very draconian in the EPA’s case,” says Rabe. “It really doesn’t spare anything—almost every area is targeted.”

Of particular interest to Michiganders are cuts to specific EPA programs, particularly the complete elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That program is intended to clean toxic contamination, remove invasive species, and reduce harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes. The program also plays a role in monitoring water quality in the region.

“There’s a lot of human health concerns here," Rabe said. "Monitoring is a basic measure we use to see if progress is being made.”

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nikki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and a professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.