CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- EPA

November 1, 2018

The Honorable Andrew Wheeler
Secretary, Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Administrator Wheeler,

During a meeting on October 17, 2018, President Trump directed you and other members of his Cabinet to cut their department budgets by 5 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  With a national debt of more than $21 trillion and the budget deficit soaring to its highest level since 2012, President Trump’s initiative will help to improve fiscal responsibility.

Since 1993, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has annually published Prime Cuts, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  The 2018 edition has 636 recommendations that would save $429.8 billion in the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.  Since CAGW was established in 1984 following the release of the Grace Commission report under President Reagan, the implementation of recommendations similar to those in Prime Cuts has helped save taxpayers $1.8 trillion.

I urge you to consider the following recommendations for President Trump’s 5 percent spending cut directive that are included in Prime Cuts 2018, as well as proposed in whole or in part in the President’s Major Savings and Reforms for FYs 2018 and 2019.

  • Administer the Energy Star program through the collection of user fees

                  1-Year Savings: $66 million                    5-Year Savings: $330 million

  • Eliminate Geographic Programs

                  1-Year Savings: $447 million                  5-Year Savings: $2.2 billion

  • Reduce categorical grants to help fund state environmental program offices and activities

                 1-Year Savings: $469 million                   5-Year Savings: $2.3 billion

  • Reconfigure and restructure the Environmental Protection Agency's activities in research and development

                 1-Year Savings: $229 million                   5-Year Savings: $1.1 billion

  • Reduce funding for the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account

                 1-Year Savings: $327 million                   5-Year Savings: $1.6 billion

Administrator Wheeler, thank you for your efforts to be a responsible steward of the taxpayers’ money.  Your work to fulfill President Trump’s 5 percent cut directive will show taxpayers that your department stands with them in rooting out wasteful spending in the federal government.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CAGW

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