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Maine Advocates: Environment Comes in Last in Trump's Budget

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Critics say President Trump's budget virtually eliminates funding for proven programs to clean up the nation's great waterways. (David Partee/NOAA)
Critics say President Trump's budget virtually eliminates funding for proven programs to clean up the nation's great waterways. (David Partee/NOAA)
March 20, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine -- President Trump calls it his "America First” budget, but environmental groups in Maine say clean air, water and health for Americans are coming in dead last.

Andrew LaVogue, campaign manager for Environment Maine, said one area of particular concern is Trump's proposed 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency budget. He said Mainers live in the "tailpipe" of the nation when it comes to harmful carbon emissions, and Trump's budget would put efforts to curb climate change at risk.

"Well, as it concerns Maine, one of the most glaring problems is eliminating the Clean Power Plan, which is a national standard in cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants,” LaVogue said. "So Maine cannot prevent Ohio from burning coal, but the Clean Power Plan can protect a state like Maine that is on the receiving end of all that pollution."

The Trump administration has defended the deep cuts, saying they reflect candidate Trump's pledge to end what he called job-killing regulations.

LaVogue called the Trump budget dirty and dangerous, adding that it fails to protect public health and the planet. He said Maine and other coastal states will be less able to respond to climate change and its impacts because of Trump's plan to cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its $73 million National Sea Grant program.

"Trump's budget would also cut NOAA programs like the Sea Grant Program, a program that the University of Maine at Orono participates in,” he said. “And it would cut funding at the Wells Reserve in southern Maine."

LaVogue said Trump's budget would also virtually eliminate funding for proven programs to clean up the nation's great waterways.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME