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It’s the time of year that Congress passes funding bills for agencies and this year’s mashup of bills — known as a “minibus” because it only funds some parts of the government — is chock full of environmental provisions intended to reverse Trump rollbacks, take actions the Administration has blocked, and to prevent them from taking others.Politico reported that the provisions include things like blocking the Trump plan to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and curtailing hunting for bears and wolves on federal land in Alaska, providing funding international climate change efforts, and undoing numerous Trump Administration rules rolling back Obama Administration clean water and air pollution regulations.
“An amendment from Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) that prohibits funds from being used for oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
“A measure from Don Beyer (D-Va.) to ensure the U.S. Park Police adopt body cameras.”
“One amendment from Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) that would stop funds from being used to reject any application for a grant on the basis of the terms “global warming” or “climate change” in the application.”
“An amendment from Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich) to block the Trump administration’s final rule revising the National Environmental Policy Act.”
“A measure from Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Calif.) to block EPA from increasing the compensation of non-career appointees employed in the Office of the Administrator under the Safe Drinking Water Act.”
“An amendment from Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) to prohibit EPA from taking any “backstop” action related to watershed implementation plans by Chesapeake Bay states.”
An amendment for implementation of PZP-humane fertility control to manage wild horse populations has already passed the House. A few proposals have enough bipartisan support that they are expected to pass, including, according to Politico:
An amendment from Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Dingell to require that EPA develop guidelines with limits as part of the EPA’s PFAS Action Plan
Another amendment from Hudson, Dingell and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) to increase funding for EPA to study the relationship between PFAS exposure and susceptibility to Covid-19.
One to block a final rule allowing trophy hunting practices to kill hibernating bears and wolf pups on Alaska’s federal lands.
E&E News noted that there is a Democratic proposal to increase environmental justice funding at EPA by $2 million (is that all?) and one from Michigan’s Dan Kildee and Rashida Tlaib (both Dems) that would double the funding in the bill for replacing lead pipes to $1 billion, an issue that has hit low-income, minority communities the hardest. We understand from House staff that there is also $3B in funding for coastal resilience and restoration programs.
The Biden administration released its “skinny” post-election year budget plan for government spending next year and it included large increases for battling climate change and reversing environmental injustice, particularly as compared to the Trump administration’s drastic proposed cuts in these areas.
Why This Matters: These are big increases over the Trump administration’s proposals — for NOAA it would mean 50% more. But Congress never enacted those truly skinny budgets — they actually modestly increased or held most environmental spending steady.
As the Biden administration readies to enact an infrastructure plan, Congressional Republicans continue to lament that water pipes, EV chargers, and expanded railways “don’t count” as infrastructure. Yet, as Biden cabinet members have been saying: we need to expand our definition of infrastructure beyond roads and bridges to prepare our country for the future. As […]
Leading up to Earth Day and President Biden’s first Climate Summit on April 22, Gallup is releasing a series of environmental polls, and the latest has found that the opinion gap on climate change between Democrats and Republicans is only growing wider.
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