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We should be INCREASING the EPA Budget, not Decreasing it.

placeholder+imagePosted on: 03/18/2017

The above image suggests an EPA budget of $10billion in 2016.  According to the Washington Post, the current budget is approximately $8.1 billion headed to $5.7 billiont, with a projected loss of about 3200 jobs.  If the Trump budget is passed.  The suggestion alone that the EPA should be cut so drasitcally is pretty much insulting, to be honest.  This is a 31% cut to a budget that is already the lowest in the past 16 years.  

Here at Rate It Green, we didn't know the EPA "only" had $10 billion, or less, and we certainly would not cut this amount.  In fact, we'd increase it.  For so many reasons. It's difficult to remain calm to make this argument, or to stay on the topic of green building and healthy building alone.  Because our health and well being and our structures and the EPA are all so interrelated.  We spend 90% of our time indoors - breating air and drinking water we need to trust are safe, surrounded by an infrastructure we're aware is aging.  Our environment is connected, as pollution does not respect borders, and we know our climate is changing.  How would our states (and even whole countries) begin to tackle all of these issues on their own?  As crises like Flint make all too clear, they can't.  

What do we lose with a smaller EPA?  Here are some ideas:

-The EnergyStar program, one of the most successful voluntary programs, and directly related to green building and energy efficiency

-Clean Power Plan funding, to help combat climate change

-Superfund funding, to protect neighborhoods from toxic pollution

-Staff and funding for the enforcement of environmental regulations

With clean and safe water at 50%+ of the EPA's expenditures, it seems like a surprising budget to cut.  Add in land protection for 23%, clean air at 12% and healthy ecosystems at 6%.  Which of these do taxpaying Americand not want? We're talking an agency that is currently only 0.2% of the federal budget while there are plans to increase defense when the US already spends more than the next 7 countries combined on miliatry spending, making up 34% of military spending globally.  

This is a time when we should be supporting efforts to build more sustainably and to make sure that all Americans have access to a healthy place to live, all as a part of tansitioning to a more sustainable economy so we have a planet left to thrive on. What can we possibly be thinking?  As I said, it's difficult to remain calm insuch a tough political "environment" for green building and so may related topics.  We all only share one planet, and we need to be working together to preserve it.   

Is this really representative of our priorities as a nation?  I don't really think so.




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