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House Seeks To Slash Appropriation For Ambitious EPA

July 23, 2013 by  

House Seeks To Slash Appropriation For Ambitious EPA

The House of Representatives is considering a bill that would cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by more than one-third in 2014, only a year after attempting to pass a more modest 17 percent budget cut.

According to The Hill, a House Appropriations subcommittee is slated to make sure the EPA pruning survives within a larger, GOP-led omnibus Interior and Environment spending bill, which will be taken up on Tuesday.

The EPA’s proposed budget cut — $2.8 billion — is the largest single pruning House Republicans have embedded in the bill, which would cut 19 percent (a total of $5.5 billion) from the budgets of a number of Federal agencies, including the National Park Service, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Gallery of Art.

What’s significant about the EPA hatchet job is its timing. The proposed cuts come only a month after President Barack Obama unveiled a plan to prioritize environmental regulations, reflecting the White House’s official stance that man-made climate change is destroying the planet and must be dealt with ahead of a host of other domestic problems.

The House bill would stave off forthcoming EPA regulations that require petroleum refiners to reduce the presence of sulfur in gasoline, which oil companies expect would add dramatically to the cost of production. It also would negate EPA regulations that, per Obama’s anti-coal agenda, would set new carbon emissions standards on electric power plants.

Subcommittee leader Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said the GOP-backed budget cuts and policy strictures are a direct effort at confronting Obama on climate change, in the hope of averting new rules that would unnecessarily increase industry costs (and end-user costs) through the implementation of more difficult and sophisticated production processes, as well as punitive fines.

New EPA boss (and Obama nominee) Gina McCarthy embraced the President’s grand vision on climate change, telling employees in an internal video Monday that the agency “has a clear responsibility to act now on climate change” and that this era “is a defining time” for the EPA.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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