In the Pipeline: 2/15/11

So where are you gonna work after you follow in Jimmy Carter’s footsteps, Mr. President? Let me guess…the Center for American Progress. Obama’s budget the blueprint for his war on affordable and reliable energy Time (2/15/11) reports: It’s Budget Day in Washington, when policy wonks break out the calculators that have the “trillions” button and decide whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter, or six decades more of crippling budget deficits. Actually, today is the day President Obama released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2012, which you can explore in all its eye-glazing glory over here. Boring or not, though, it ‘s worth going through Obama’s proposals for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), if only to see the areas the President really wants to save as he works to win the future…First the EPA—download a PDF of the budget here. Overall the EPA faces a 12.6% cut, with $9 billion allocated for fiscal 2012, down from the $10.3 billion that had been allocated for fiscal 2010, which represented the agency’s biggest ever budget. That means the White House is accepting some tough cuts, while allowing a few programs—including money for greenhouse gas monitoring and regulation—to rise.

American’s don’t need subsidized energy bills, what they need is affordable and reliable energy Wall Street Journal (2/15/11) reports: A proposed $2.5 billion cut to a program helping low-income Americans heat or cool their homes could leave some states out in the cold…The cuts would shrink spending on the main portion of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to $1.98 billion, from about $4.5 billion in the current fiscal year. The proposed budget would set aside an additional $590 million in contingency funds to distribute as need arises, an amount unchanged from the last budget. But because of a quirk in the funding system, some states would see their fixed share of the funds fall by much more than half, while others are protected from steep declines. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Texas—states where some low-income residents depend on the money to cool their homes during scorching summers—all would lose more than 75% of funding, according to the Congressional Research Service, while funding for Iowa, New York and Wisconsin would drop by less than half.

Obama, this lesson is free: when you tax a company, that company transfers the tax to the consumer. In this case, a tax on the fossil fuel industry will result in higher monthly energy bills New York Times (2/14/11) reports: The president once again asks Congress to do away with billions in tax breaks for fossil fuel interests, over the outcries of the oil and gas industry…The request deals with policies that involve some of the sharpest disagreements between the administration and Congress, which will debate it line by line… Spending at the Department of Interior would remain at roughly the same level as past years, but with a major increase, to $358 million, for environmental and safety enforcement for offshore oil and gas drilling, to be offset largely with royalties and fees from oil companies…The budget request represents an increase of $119 million, or 50 percent, from 2010 and is intended to address weaknesses revealed after last year’s BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The additional money would be used to hire new oil and gas inspectors, to more vigorously oversee drilling activities and to process drilling permit applications more efficiently.

Hold your breath and hide your wallet: Employment Prevention Agency awarded $43 million to regulate GHG’s Bloomberg (2/14/11) reports: The president’s plan calls for about $43 million in new funding for the rules aimed at curbing carbon-dioxide emissions blamed for climate change, according to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson…“We need to get started,” Jackson told reporters on a conference call today. “Businesses are waiting right now to make investments, and one of the things they need to know is how we will be addressing carbon pollution going forward.” ..The total EPA budget for the rules, which took effect last month, is about $190 million, including costs for state permit programs, according to Jackson. The EPA opposes any effort in Congress to bar or delay the regulations, she said.

Wyoming’s state motto is ‘equal rights’ but at the moment the governor is more concerned with states’ rights in a legal battle with the EPA Bloomberg (2/15/11) reports: Wyoming has filed a legal challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions in the state…State officials say the EPA gave Wyoming just nine days to come up with a state plan to regulate greenhouse gases before a Dec. 22 deadline, and that wasn’t enough time…Without state rules, the EPA stepped in Jan. 2 and has taken charge of issuing greenhouse gas permits in the state since then…A two-tiered, federal-state permitting process is now in effect for any large, new industrial facility, such as a coal-fired power plant, that emits large amounts of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas, said Renny MacKay, spokesman for Gov. Matt Mead…”If somebody wants to build a facility, they come to Wyoming and get permitting for everything but greenhouse gases. For greenhouse gases, they have to go to EPA,” MacKay said

Pelosi, who said natural gas was a “good alternative” to fossil fuels, apparently thinks we power our cars with switchgrass, too The Hill (2/15/11) reports: Obama’s FY 2012 budget request calls for eliminating a series of oil and gas industry tax breaks. The Department of Energy estimates that such a repeal will save $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 and a total of $46.2 billion during the next decade…But Obama’s proposal faces an uphill battle in Congress. Republicans argue that any effort to eliminate oil industry tax breaks would harm the economy and result in massive job losses…Capitol Hill Democrats have given repeal of oil industry tax breaks a starring role in their political messaging on the budget, arguing that Republicans should support cutting the incentives if they truly want to help reduce the deficit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have both made high-profile calls in recent days for Republicans to embrace the proposal.

Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.