Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stopped by La Plaza Cultural Community Garden in the East Village Thursday afternoon to rail against the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA budget and the rolling back of Obama-era policies that set vehicle mileage standards and limited power plant emissions.
“It’s 2017 — we have an EPA administrator whose views and actions are antithetical to the whole mission of the EPA,” Schumer said. “[Scott] Pruitt is a climate science denier. Some say skeptic; no, this isn’t an issue where you can be skeptical. It’s real.”
Around 45 activists from Good Old Lower East Side, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Environmental Advocates of NY and other groups rallied to denounce the Trump administration’s proposal to cut the EPA’s budget by around 31 percent.
“The proposed cuts would hit communities, like the one we’re in today, the hardest,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of NY. “When we cut EPA, people with get sick; when we cut EPA, communities will be devastated.”
The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was designed to help the United States lower carbons emissions from existing power plants and meet its obligation under the 2015 Paris deal, which the Trump administration has said it wants to re-negotiate.
Earlier this week, Pruitt announced the EPA would be withdrawing the Clean Power Plan, arguing that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority.
The senator said severe storms like hurricanes Irma, Maria and Sandy are going to become more frequent if climate change isn’t addressed. “There’s no debate — for the sake of our globe, our health, our safety, our well-being — we have to do something about climate change now,” Schumer said.