Trump transition leader’s goal is two-thirds cut in EPA employees

The red lights are flashing at the Environmental Protection Agency. The words of Myron Ebell, the former head of President Trump’s EPA transition team, warn employees of a perilous future. Ebell wants the agency to go on a severe diet. It’s one that would leave many federal employees with hunger pains, and jobless too. Ebell has suggested cutting the EPA workforce by 5,000, about a two-thirds reduction, over the next four years. The agency’s budget of $8.1 billion would be sliced in half under his prescription, which he emphasized is his own and not necessarily Trump’s. “My own personal view is that the EPA would be better served if it were a much leaner organization that had substantial cuts,” he said in an interview. Ebell is director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a small-government think tank where he pushes the notion of “global warming alarmism” and against the science that says it’s a crisis. He acknowledges cutting 10,000 staffers might not be realistic, yet he sees that as an “aspirational goal. … You’re not going to get Congress to make significant cuts unless you ask for significant cuts.”

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