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Congress rejects Trump’s proposed environmental cuts

In July, the US Congress rejected President Trump’s proposal for deep spending cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 30-1 to approve USD38.4-billion in funding for the department and water programmes, a USD4-billion increase over the administration’s proposal.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which Trump had proposed eliminating, instead won USD330-million, its highest ever. The department’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programme received USD1.94-billion; Trump would have slashed it to USD740-million.

Left to right Zinke Pence Trump Perry Pruitt 2017 06 29 Alt FI 1

“This is an incredible demonstration of bipartisan support for energy-efficiency programmes and for the value they deliver to US consumers and businesses,” said Kateri Callahan, president of The Alliance to Save Energy.

The Senate bill includes funding for an interim storage site for nuclear waste, but unlike the House of Representatives’ version, does not fund the restart of Yucca Mountain as a permanent repository.

The committee’s action came two days after the House Appropriations Committee voted 30-21 to approve a USD31.4-billion funding bill for EPA, the Interior Department and other programmes — USD824-million less than current levels but USD4.3-billion more than Trump had sought. EPA would see a USD528-million cut, about 6.5%.

Meanwhile, the full house approved two bills changing the federal government’s permitting and siting policies for oil and natural gas pipelines and four bills on hydropower, energy security and EPA’s ozone standards.

The newly approved Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (H.R. 806) gives states flexibility in implementing National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone.

What effect will this have on the rest of the world? We’ll have to wait and see…



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