Energy Efficiency, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables - March 22, 2018
Spending bill rejects Trump’s EPA cuts
A $1.3 trillion spending bill released on Mar. 21 by Congressional leaders rejected deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed by President Trump.
According to a report in The Hill, senior lawmakers negotiating the omnibus appropriations bill instead allocated $8.1 billion to the agency for fiscal 2018, the same level as 2017. Trump’s administration had proposed a 31% cut to the EPA. The bill must be approved by both houses of Congress and President Trump before Friday at midnight in order to prevent a government shutdown.
"The American people support investments in clean air and water, public lands, parks, and the arts and humanities, which are vital to the health and well-being of our communities and our economy," said Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee subcommittee responsible for the EPA, said in a statement. He added, "Together, we rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to make massive and dangerous budget cuts, and instead, we restored funding for the EPA."
The bill also includes some new policy provisions for the EPA, including a requirement that the agency treat wood burning as a carbon-neutral and renewable electricity source. A provision was removed that would have let the EPA avoid usual regulatory processes, such as gathering public comment as it works to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule.
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