Fearing that President Donald Trump will make good on his promise to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) political arm, EDF Action, has announced a million dollar ad buy to raise awareness about how these budget cuts will affect the lives of American citizens.
The ad campaign’s goal is to target local television, radio, and online outlets with information about the EPA’s local impact on public health and the environment.
On the effects of the proposed budget cuts, The Hill quoted EDF Action president Elizabeth Thompson saying, “The result will be more asthma attacks for our kids and more health problems for our elderly parents. We’re calling on Members of Congress to stand up for our health and not let the worst polluters off the hook.”
EDF Action has been warning the public about the dangers of slashing the EPA budget for quite some time. A recent post on its website explains that the budget cuts will be felt far closer to home than most people realize.
Rather than focusing on overall carbon dioxide and emission reductions programs, the environmental group points out that these cuts will instead force cities to cut back on water testing and safety, reduce funding for local air quality testing (leading to more respiratory illnesses and asthma attacks), and curb coastal flood mitigation plans. By targeting specific areas of the country with its ad campaign, EDF Action can single out those who will be directly affected by the proposed cuts.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives denied a proposed budget cut from the Trump administration that would have cut the EPA’s budget by $3 billion annually, a move that would have resulted in at least 3,500 jobs lost from the agency. However, that current budget ends in September 2017, with the following year’s still-debated budget coming into effect immediately after. The current budget proposal under consideration would reduce the agency’s funding to its lowest levels in 40 years and result in a 20 percent decrease in agency staff numbers.
The proposed staffing and funding cuts from the Trump administration would reduce the EPA’s enforcement division by 40 percent. As The Atlantic points out, this is the group within the EPA that makes sure that corporations are complying with environmental rules meant to protect the public and the environment.