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Report: Trump administration seeks to slash large chunks from climate agencies' budgets

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's administration wants to slash the budget and agency size of multiple climate agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to Politico, the Trump administration desires to slash 17 percent from NOAA's annual budget, targeting climate change research initiatives.

From Politico:

The funding slash would hamper NOAA’s research funding and satellite programs while eliminating altogether funding for smaller programs on coastal management and estuary reserve efforts, among others.

Among the satellite programs facing the largest cuts is the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which houses climate and environmental information through the National Centers for Environmental Information. Researchers in that program have studied the continuing rate of global climate change. Another would be the Sea Grant program, which currently supports university research programs at 33 institutions nationwide.

The cuts would be part of the overall 18 percent cut Trump wants to make to the Commerce Department, which NOAA falls under. The findings were first reported by the Washington Post on Friday.

A former chief scientist at the agency blasted the proposed cuts in a statement to the Post.

"NOAA’s research and operations, including satellite data management, support critical safety needs. A reduced investment now would virtually guarantee jeopardizing the safety of the American public," Rick Spinrad told the Post.

In addition to NOAA, the Associated Press reports that Trump wants to cut the EPA's budget by roughly 25 percent and its staffing by 19 percent, which would result in the loss of approximately 3,000 jobs.

The draft proposal for the EPA would cut its annual budget from about $8.2 billion to $6.1 billion. Proposed cuts include reducing the climate protection budget by nearly 70 percent to $29 million, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 97 percent to $10 million and environmental justice programs by 79 percent to $1.5 million.

Also targeted for steep spending rollbacks are the agency's monitoring and enforcement of compliance with environmental laws, as well as regional projects intended to benefit degraded areas such as the Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. A program dealing with San Francisco Bay that received $4.8 million last year would be eliminated, as would initiatives for reducing diesel emissions and beach water quality testing.

Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy called the proposed budget "a fantasy" that ignores the EPA's mission to protect public health.

"It shows the Trump administration doesn't hold the same American values for clean air, clean water and healthy land as the vast majority of its citizens," McCarthy told the AP. "Our health comes before the special interests of multibillion-dollar industries."

Budget cuts and agency reductions are still subject to congressional approval, which is likely still months away.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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