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Trump unveils US budget plan with cuts to EPA, Energy, Interior

Washington (Platts)--16 Mar 2017 1022 am EDT/1422 GMT


* Budget likely opening offer to Congress
* Cuts Environmental Protection Agency spending by 31%
* Eliminates climate change programs prioritized by Obama


The White House Thursday unveiled President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 budget which pushes for a $54 billion increase in defense spending to be offset by dramatic cuts across the federal government, particularly to climate change efforts prioritized by the Obama administration.

The US Environmental Protection Agency, a frequent target of Trump's criticism as a presidential candidate, would see the largest relative budget cut of 31% from fiscal 2017 to a proposed $5.7 billion.

Related: Find more content about Trump's administration in our news and analysis feature.

Under the proposed EPA cuts, the Trump administration would eliminate $100 million for the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, climate change research and more than 50 programs the administration identified as "low priority or poorly performing."

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The budget proposal, known as "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again," will likely serve as the opening salvo in a budget fight with Congress expected to stretch through much of this year.

Such early budget proposals have traditionally been offered by presidents to highlight their funding priorities. The budget would take effect on October 1.

Trump's budget calls for $28 billion for the Department of Energy, a $1.7 billion or 5.6% drop from 2017 and calls for the elimination of several research and technology loans programs, including the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy and the advanced technology vehicle manufacturing program.

The administration said these programs will be eliminated since the private sector is "better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies."

The budget also calls for $11.6 billion for the Department of the Interior, a $1.5 billion or 12% cut from 2017 which would be partly paid for by not acquiring new federal lands.

The State Department and US Agency for International Development would receive $10.1 billion under the plan, a 28% decline from 2017.

--Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com
--Edited Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com

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