Newsom Proposed Budget Cuts Put Environment, Public Health at Risk
by Katie Nelson
May 14, 2020
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released the May revision of the California state budget proposal, which recommends massive budget cuts to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s general fund.
Sacramento, California — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released the May revision of the California state budget proposal, which recommends funding cuts of more than 94 percent to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s general fund. The proposed change would take an ax to the agency tasked with overseeing air quality in the state, in direct contradiction with warnings from health experts that those living in areas with elevated air pollution are more likely to die from COVID-19.
In addition, oil and gas industry trade groups have sent various letters to the Newsom administration requesting a number of regulatory rollbacks amidst the pandemic. To date, the administration has indicated they intend to allow oil and gas companies to delay regulatory requirements related to the clean up of thousands of idle oil wells threatening public health.
Reports show that new oil well permits are on the rise in 2020, with the Newsom administration resuming permitting for reckless fracking in April after a nine-month moratorium.
In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Caroline Henderson said:
“Between regulatory rollbacks and these proposed budget cuts, communities living in pollution hotspots now face an even greater burden to their public health in the midst of a global pandemic.
“In this critical moment, we need Newsom to uphold the standards of clean air and clean water for all Californians — not slash funding to the agency that monitors it and to dole out fracking permits that will compromise our public health. While Newsom has shown leadership on health and safety protections for Californians impacted by the COVID-19, to be a true protector of public health requires holding strong on crucial environmental protections.”
Katie Nelson, Strategic Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected]