There’s a proposal in the House of Representatives to drastically reduce funding for the EPA and the Department of the Interior:
The legislation, which could come to a floor vote this week, would cut Interior’s funds by $750 million, or about 7 percent, and the E.P.A.’s budget by $1.5 billion, or 18 percent. (The latter cut would bring reductions in the E.P.A.’s budget to 34 percent over two years.)
Yet the fiercest debate seemed to center on 39 riders attached to the bill that would hobble the regulation of big polluters and direct an additional $55 million in subsidies to oil and gas companies.
Among the 39 riders are measures that would open up uranium mining in lands next to to the Grand Canyon, limit the E.P.A.’s oversight powers over mountaintop removal mining and free oil companies from meeting Clean Air Act standards for offshore drilling projects.
Perhaps one of the most striking measures is a rider that would prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from adding new species to the endangered species list, upgrading species listings or protecting vital habitat by eliminating all funds for those activities.
Here are some snippets from the debate. If we continue to weaken the EPA, perhaps we can eventually match China’s pollution problems.