The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is shutting down a program at its headquarters that helps states and localities adapt to the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels.
An EPA official said a team of four staffers within the EPA’s policy office who had worked on the adaptation responsibilities are being reassigned. But the official stressed that regional offices will continue their climate adaptation efforts.
It’s part of the EPA’s shift away from climate change programs, which President Trump previewed last month in his first budget request.
Trump proposed eliminating major climate programs as part of a 31 percent cut to the EPA’s budget, though those changes would not be effective until later this year, if Congress approved them.
Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, told reporters last month that Trump does not believe climate is a worthwhile cause for federal spending.
“I think the president was fairly straightforward — we’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that,” he said.
Bloomberg BNA first reported the news about shutting down the EPA’s adaptation programs Friday.
The official said regional offices in areas especially susceptible to the effects of climate change, like the South, have always taken the lead on adaptation and will continue to do so.
“It was redundant. A lot of the regions are already doing a lot of this work,” the official said.
“This is not something that should be controlled from inside Washington, D.C. This is something that the regions themselves know how to deal with, and have been dealing with the entire time.”
BY TIMOTHY CAMA