An unnamed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) source warned that agency employees will leak information about “actions they deem ill-advised or illegal” to environmental groups and the media, Politico reports.
The unnamed career staffer, whose identity Politico keeps anonymous, warned EPA employees “who stay to fight actions they deem ill-advised or illegal by quietly providing information of what is happening inside their agencies to advocacy groups and the media,” Politico reported.
Employees are likely to leak to environmental groups and sympathetic media outlets critical of President Trump’s agenda. Trump plans to repeal EPA regulations aimed at tackling global warming and may cut the agency’s budget.
Trump is also expected to sign an executive order freezing hiring across federal agencies, including the EPA. Politico reports that the plan is already angering many federal employees.
“If they’re close to retirement, they’ll probably just leave,” the EPA employee told Politico.
Additionally, Trump may also trim EPA’s budget, according to a leaked transition team memo. One section of the memo titled, “Potential opportunities for budget reductions,” lays out $513 million in cuts to the “states and tribal assistance grants.”
The memo also mentions $193 million in savings from eliminating agency global warming programs and another $109 million in savings cutting “environment programs and management.”
Many career EPA employees lean to the left of Trump’s team and will want to defend President Obama’s plan to fight global warming and reduce U.S. coal use. These “true believers” could cause problems for Trump down the road.
Axios, which obtained the leaked Trump memo, noted “[t]here are huge, entrenched bureaucracies at these agencies, and especially at EPA, which is filled with true believers on the environmental movement, climate change, clean water and air.”
“These thousands of people will dig in and make it very difficult for the thin layer of political appointees atop these agencies to move quickly to undo their years of work to put these things in place,” Axios reported.