Not Enough “Green” to be Green?
The Washington Post has details about the budget proposal. Here’s the information on EPA:
President Obama’s proposed budget provides $9 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, noting that that amount represents a $1.3 billion decrease from the previous budget year. But that’s unlikely to satisfy Republicans in the House who are sharpening their knives to cut even more from an agency that plans to pressure big polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA vowed to restore air and water quality with strict new rules, earning praise from liberal groups but making enemies of manufacturers and their politically conservative supporters who say the rules will add to business costs and eliminate jobs. The administration backpedaled slightly on funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, cutting its budget by $125 million.
In terms of climate change,
There are a few million dollars in the Agriculture Department budget for climate research, a nod toward climate science in the Commerce Department, money for promoting electric vehicles and more efficient buildings in the Energy Department budget, and $73 million in the Interior budget to permit renewable energy projects on federal land.
Of course, auctioning allowances would bring in federal revenue, but the GOP’s interest in deficit reduction doesn’t encompass such measures.
The budget still promises extensive investment in renewables at DOE:
[The proposed budget] would provide some new money for energy research, including three new “hubs” for battery and electric grid research, and increases in budget authority for promoting renewable-power projects.
In pursuit of boosting the number of electric cars on the road, Obama proposes $588 million, an 88 percent increase, for helping communities that invest in electric-vehicle infrastructure. He would also alter the $7,500 tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles, making it a tax rebate available immediately at the point of sale.
The only thing we can say for sure about the final budget that emerges from Congress is that it will be lower and will to the extent politically possible further the GOP’s deregulatory agenda.
Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…READ more