Whose interests are being promoted when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars on the environment? The answers are in the budget details.
First, NJ Governor Christie’s under-the-radar Clean Energy fund cut. Hat-tip to reporter Tom Johnson for reporting this scoop:
Christie Quietly Diverts $210 Million From Clean Energy Fund
Administration justifies appropriation by arguing the money is ‘surplus dollars’
The governor did not mention the diversion in his speech to lawmakers, nor was it disclosed at a budget briefing for reporters earlier in the day. It only came to light late in the afternoon when the administration released a 145-page budget summary for the 2013 fiscal year — a single line item identifying $210 million in interagency fund transfers to the general fund.
And two links views on how the environment and clean energy might fare with President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal:
The proposal includes increased funds for the research, program development, and enforcement of health and environmental laws. In fact, one of the biggest increases in the EPA budget is for strapped state programs which bear the day-to-day responsibility of implementing federal laws including the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act. Funding for the Agency’s drinking water program is increased, particularly important for Clean Water Action’s work watchdogging SDWA implementation. These aren’t always headline grabbing activities, but they’re critical to enabling government to carry out the intent of that law – clean drinking water from our nation’s public water systems. We’re also glad to see increased investment in small drinking water systems, who are often most challenged by the costs up-to-date drinking water treatment.
In all, Obama increases the Department of Energy budget by 3.2%, bringing it to $27.2 billion for 2013. He allots $2.3 billion for both the efficiency and renewable energy programs in EERE, and maintains Energy Star spending at the same level. Funding for high-risk research increases 27% and for manufacturing advancement 150%. Obama offers an 80% increase in programs that cut energy use in buildings and factories. He also continues to press Congress to pass the HomeStar bill to reduce household energy use.