House Approps to Finish Work on EPA/Interior Bill
The House Appropriations Committee met Wednesday to mark up the 2013 Interior and Environment spending bill. The measure includes 28-billion dollars for the EPA and Department of the Interior. That's a cut of nearly 1.2-billion from current funding and about 1.7-billion less than the Obama Administration requested. The bill would cut EPA spending by 1.4-billion dollars. The 17-percent reduction is aimed at blocking environmental regulations. There are some policy riders that apply to agriculture. Among those - one would prevent the EPA from expanding its authority to regulate navigable waters under the Clean Water Act. Another would restrict the agency from setting air emissions standards for carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane - among other pollutants - that come from livestock operations.
According to Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers of Kentucky - the EPA has overreached its regulatory authority - strangling the U.S. economy and costing jobs. But Ranking Member Norman Dicks of Washington said EPA programs and regulations are not to blame for the recession. He said handcuffing environmental regulations will not get us out of it.
The Committee did not finish its work on the spending bill. They are expected to finish mark up and adopt the fiscal 2013 measure today (Thursday). The additional work is not expected to change the planned EPA spending cuts.
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