President Donald Trump’s budget director told reporters Thursday the White House was no longer spending money on climate change research because it’s a “waste of your money.”
“We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director, said at a press briefing while discussing the president’s decision to dial back climate science research.
“We consider that to be a waste of your money,” he added.
Trump released his congressional budget request Thursday, which contained several contentious reductions, including dramatic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy.
The White House’s budget proposes lopping 31 percent, or $2.5 billion, off EPA’s funding and reducing its workforce by 3,200 employees. The new budget slashes EPA funding from $8.3 billion to $5.7 billion,
Trump initially considered a 25 percent cut to the agency’s budget, but came back with even deeper cuts after EPA chief Scott Pruitt asked the White House for $7 billion in 2018.
Mulvaney intends to cut funding to the EPA’s climate programs and grants. The White House is essentially asking the environmental regulatory agency to play an ancillary role, backing up states and tribes.
“EPA would primarily support States and Tribes in their important role protecting air, land, and water in the 21st Century,” reads the White House summary.