GOP Spending Plan Targets EPA


House Republicans want to pass a bill that would permanently bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas pollution. That bill isn’t going to go to the floor immediately, but in the meantime, GOPers are looking to make major funding cuts to the agency components that are crafting those regulations. The plan GOP appropriators are releasing today would chop $1.6 billion from the EPA’s budget.

The list of cuts in the continuing resolution (a “CR” in Washington-speak), a seven-month spending package, includes trimming $9 million from the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Registry, $5 million from Cap and Trade Technical Assistance, and $25 million from State and Local Air Quality Management. There’s also the very real possibility that House members will tack on an amendment that would formally bar the EPA from using any resources authorized by the CR to develop greenhouse gas regulations. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chair of the powerful energy and commerce committee and the author of a bill that would permanently bar the EPA from issuing greenhouse gas regulations, said yesterday that he anticipates his colleagues will include some language on the EPA in the CR. “I expect that to be part of that bill, assuming we can do that within the rules of the House,” Upton told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in an interview yesterday.

Also on the chopping block at EPA: $48 million for the brownfields program, which cleans up polluted land, and $7.4 million for Energy Star, the appliance efficiency program. Also atop the list of target for cuts are a number of clean energy programs, scientific research and development, and public transportation. Behold:

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -$899M
  • Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability -$49M
  • Nuclear Energy -$169M
  • Fossil Energy Research -$31M
  • Clean Coal Technology -$18M
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserve -$15M
  • Energy Information Administration -$34M
  • Office of Science -$1.1B
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund -$348M
  • NOAA -$336M
  • High Speed Rail -$1B
  • Amtrak -$224M
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service -$46M
  • DOE Loan Guarantee Authority -$1.4B

The list of budget cuts that the Republican Study Committee unveiled last month also included a number of cuts for energy and environmental programs.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.