The Trump administration is being accused of racism for cutting a wasteful program that’s given leftist groups tens of millions of dollars to help poor, minority and indigenous communities attain “environmental justice.” The initiative was launched under Barack Obama’s first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief, Lisa Jackson, to help low-income populations obtain the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards as wealthy communities. Over the years, heaps of taxpayer dollars have filled the coffers of leftwing groups—including some dedicated to helping illegal immigrants—that teach black, Latino and indigenous folks how to recycle, reduce carbon emissions through “weatherization” and participate in “green jobs.”
The cash flowed freely through the EPA’s special environmental justice office, which the Trump administration plans to get rid of as part of a broader budget cut for the famously bloated agency. This is great news for American taxpayers who were forced to fund this nonsense. Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the EPA’s environmental justice boondoggle and exposed the atrocities that occurred under the reckless initiative. Here are some examples of how the money was used; to teach residents of public housing about recycling, seniors to reduce their “carbon footprint,” inner city neighborhoods about “climate-change readiness” and middle school students with a “disparate economic and racial/ethnic composition” how to “identify and mitigate air pollution and solid waste disposal issues.” Low-income public school students were taught asthma self-management skills, poor minorities got asthma-friendly homes and a New Jersey group called Lazos America Unida that helps Mexican immigrants got money to create a “lead-safe backyard gardening” program to protect members from the risks associated with gardening in lead contaminated soil.
Another environmental justice grant recipient, a migrant farm workers’ group in Missouri, used its taxpayer dollars to explain symbols and key words on television weather advisories and to “increase awareness about the dangers of sun and heat exposure” in migrant communities. Other leftist groups used their environmental justice cash to educate migrant workers from Mexico and Guatemala about “pesticide exposure” risks and to help the poor “evaluate toys and find out about toy recalls.” The list of ludicrous programs funded by the EPA’s environmental justice office goes on and on. The Obama administration also forced virtually every major government agency—including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Justice, Health and Labor—to participate in its environmental justice initiative. This required making environmental justice part of their mission and providing the public with annual progress reports on their efforts to help minorities that live in the shadows of society’s worst pollution.
The Trump administration plans to put an end to this madness that’s fleeced Americans out of huge sums. News reports indicate that 25% of the EPA’s budget will get cut and that will translate into the end of several Obama-era programs such as environmental justice, Global Change Research and Clean Power Plan, among others. This means that the gravy train will come to an abrupt halt and leftist groups as well as their allies in the mainstream media are incensed. The nation’s largest and most influential environmental organization has even whipped out the race card, accusing the Trump administration of being racist for slashing the environmental justice office. In a mainstream news report that was widely reprinted, a director at the Sierra Club club said this: “To cut the environmental justice program at EPA is just racist. I can’t describe it in any other terms than a move to leave those communities behind. I can’t imagine what the justification would be, other than racism.”