DOI’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration

Silencing Science Tracker

DOI’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration

On May 23, 2017, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued President Trump’s proposal for the Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The budget proposes significant cuts in funding for climate and other environmental research at various federal agencies. For example, funding for climate and environmental research programs within the Department of the Interior (DOI) would be cut by nineteen percent or $140 million, compared to FY 2017 levels. DOI’s chief science office, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), would be particularly hard hit, having its funding cut by $101 million. This is, however, slightly lower than $160 million cut originally proposed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The proposed budget cuts would, if implemented, have a major impact on DOI’s ability to undertake and fund scientific report. According to a 2018 report:

“[t]he proposed cuts to the environmental [research] programs across DOI will disrupt the collection of environment- and climate-related data. This will forego a comprehensive understanding of how [public] lands, the ecosystems in which they are found, and the Earth’s climate systems are being altered by human influences – at the level of detail that enables the formulation of local and regional impact assessment and adaptation plants.”

Update: On March 22, 2018, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill for FY2018. The bill rejects President Trump’s proposal to cut funding for USGS by $137.8 million to $922.2 million. Instead, the bill increases USGS funding slightly to $1.1 billion.


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