GOP Moves to Slash EPA Budget, Defund Carbon Regulations

WASHINGTON, DC — The new spending plan laid out by House Republicans would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by nearly a third and prevent it from using funds for greenhouse gas regulations.

The plan (PDF), referred to as a "CR," or continuous resolution, would reduce the agency's budget by $3 billion, while its research-driven Global Change program would also see about a 30 percent hit.

Other agencies working on energy or climate-related matters would also see their funding shrivel up, including the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The moves are part of Republican efforts to trim $100 billion from the budget, largely driven by a raft of Tea Party candidates who joined the House of Representatives after the 2010 mid-term elections. The GOP originally sought cuts totaling $32 billion, but freshmen legislators forced the party to ramp up cuts and make good on their campaign promises.

Also on the chopping block: the position of climate and energy advisor. The CR would prevent President Barack Obama from filling the position left vacant by departing Carol Browner. 

Other cuts include: $3 million from a greenhouse gas monitoring system; $10 million in climate change-related state grants; $500 million for the World Bank and emissions-reducing projects in developing countries; $10.5 million from the Energy Star program; $5 million from the EPA's greenhouse gas reporting registry; $250 million from the EPA Great Lakes Initiative.

The temporary Senate Democrats are promising a fight over the cuts in the upper chamber, while Obama has previously threatened to veto any bill that strips the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Obama also released his budget Monday with less severe cuts, including a $1.3 billion decline in EPA funding, along with a 26 percent drop in Great Lakes restoration funds, among others.

Image CC licensed by Flickr user Rob Crawley.