Since taking office, Donald Trump has announced a series of budget cuts to Barack Obama’s precious Environmental Protection Agency. On Thursday, a top environmental justice leader responded to this by resigning from the EPA in a huff, and he will NOT be missed!
The Washington Post reported that Mustafa Ali, a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator for environmental justice, had been with the EPA for over 20 years before he resigned. During that time, he worked to ease the burden of air and water pollution in hundreds of poor, minority communities nationwide.
His resignation was likely a response to Donald Trump’s plan to close the agency’s Office of Environmental Justice. His latest budget proposal released last week would cut the agency’s overall budget by a quarter, leading to a 20 percent reduction in the workforce. The document also listed the environmental justice program as among several dozen slated to lose all funding and “assumes any future EJ specific policy work can be transferred to the Office of Policy.”
“I never saw in the past a concerted effort to roll back the positive steps that many, many people have worked on though all the previous administrations. … I can’t be a part of anything that would hurt those communities. I just couldn’t sign off on those types of things,” Ali said.
“I hadn’t seen any positive movement in relationship to vulnerable communities … I hadn’t seen yet any engagement with communities with environmental justice concerns,” he said.
Bye Bye, Mustafa, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!