EPA Takes Major Beating in House Appropriations Committee Vote


EPA Takes Major Beating in House Appropriations Committee Vote

On June 28 the House Appropriations Committee passed by a 26-19 vote
the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The bill would slash
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by about a
fifth for fiscal year 2013, the lowest it has been funded since 1998
and deeply cut funding for other environmental programs including the
Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that provides critical
resources for protecting national parks, wildlife refuges and local
recreation areas.

In addition, the bill was riddled with anti-environmental riders,
including ones that would block the Obama administration from
finalizing and implementing proposed guidelines to restore Clean Water
Act protections to many of America’s rivers, lakes, streams and
wetlands; stop the administration from setting and enforcing clean car
standards which are widely supported and would drastically cut global
warming pollution; and prohibit funding for greenhouse gas standards
for power plants, the largest stationary source of carbon pollution in
the country.

Shelley Vinyard, clean water advocate for Environment America said:

“This Dirty Water Bill is a disgraceful attempt to put polluters
before clean water protections. Poll after poll shows that the
American public overwhelmingly supports clean water protections, and
yet this committee passed a bill that would block the biggest step
forward for America’s waterways in more than a decade.

“In addition, cutting the Land and Water Conservation fund 80 percent
to pre-1968 levels is a huge step backwards for preservation. This
fund conserves irreplaceable lands, and we should be doing all we can
to protect our treasured areas, rather than slashing programs that
protect our most treasured places and encourage outdoor recreation.

“We applaud the members of Congress who stood up for clean water and
preservation today by opposing this bill, and are disappointed with
those who sided with big polluters by supporting the overall bill and
the many anti-environmental riders that harm our environment and
public health.”