Earlier this month, US Environmental Protection Administration administrator Scott Pruitt appeared on Fox News Sunday and boasted that his agency has achieved “a 65% reduction in those key air pollutants—SOx [sulphur oxides] and NOx [nitrogen oxides] and particulate matter and ozone—while at the same time growing our economy.” Oddly—and unlike each of his predecessors—Pruitt wasn’t making these claims to support continuing the E.P.A.’s work. He went on to defend massive cuts in the agency’s budget.
The E.P.A.’s budget today is about $8.14 billion, which is already some 20% below the Obama era’s 2010 budget. That translates to around $25 per person annually. Federal personal tax revenues are about $5,000 per person; therefore, the E.P.A. is funded with about 0.5% of a per capita tax bill.
Pruitt supports slashing the E.P.A. budget by more than 30% to a level closer to that which the agency received in the late 1970s.