Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Administrator Jackson Testifies On EPA FY 2010 Budget

May 12: The Senate Environment and Pubic Works Committee, Chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) held a hearing on the President’s proposed U.S. EPA Budget for FY 2010 [See WIMS 5/11/09]. The only witness was EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Both Senator Boxer and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) delivered opening comments.

Senator Boxer said, "During the previous Administration, there was rarely any good news in the EPA budget. The Bush Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget represented a 26% decline in resources over the prior eight years. I am pleased to see that this EPA budget represents a fresh, new commitment to safeguarding public health, including the health of our children, curbing the carbon pollution that causes global warming, and creating clean energy jobs." Boxer noted that EPA estimates that our nation has more than $200 billion in investment needs just for wastewater infrastructure. By 2019, our drinking water infrastructure needs could top $100 billion.

She also indicated that the budget "takes important steps needed to begin to address global warming" and provides funds to: Increase funding for the Energy Star program, which promotes the use of energy efficient technologies; Implement a national inventory of large sources of greenhouse gas emissions; Analyze issues related to a cap and trade system for controlling the carbon pollution that causes global warming; and Develop vehicle emissions reductions technologies to address carbon pollution and help US car manufacturers who adopt such technologies become more competitive.

In his opening statement, Senator Inhofe digressed with a reminder to Administrator Jackson of her commitment to transparency and said, "I trust the Administrator and her staff will honor this principle, especially as the agency considers regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. We don’t agree on this issue -- I am strongly opposed to carbon regulation under the Clean Air Act and I will try to stop it -- but at least we can agree that EPA should remain open to a wide variety of viewpoints."

On the budget matters, Inhofe said, ". . .in spite of these massive spending increases and economic problems, the president proposes what I can only call a stunning increase in federal spending: a total of $3.4 trillion. This is more than the nation has ever spent under any other president. It will also create a $1.8 trillion federal deficit – the highest ever. The President also proposes some budget cuts, to the tune of $17 billion. Half of those will come from defense spending. So, according to the President’s budget, and during a time of war no less, we are being asked to cut a number of next-generation weapons systems for our war fighters. Yet there seems to be enough money to increase EPA’s budget by a staggering 37 percent. . . The President’s EPA budget in many respects fuels a growing bureaucracy and encourages more misguided regulation, both of which threaten jobs, our energy security, and our economic competitiveness, not to mention our citizens’ freedoms."

Administrator Jackson indicated that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Budget request represents the highest level of funding for EPA in its 39-year history -- a 37 percent increase over our FY 2009 Budget. The Budget requests $10.5 billion in discretionary budget authority and 17,384.3 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs).

Jackson said, "This budget starts the work needed to transform our economy through investment in cutting-edge green technologies, repairing crumbling infrastructure and strengthening our core regulatory and scientific capabilities to make the Nation’s water, air, and land cleaner for our communities, families, and children. This budget keeps EPA on the job protecting the environment. It helps states, tribes, and local governments stay on the job by providing critical partnership assistance. And, it helps put Americans back on the job. . . This FY 2010 budget reflects President Obama’s commitment to usher in a new era in environmental stewardship and puts us on a clear path to a cleaner and safer planet." The remainder of Jackson's 15-page testimony provided details of the budget.

As WIMS reported yesterday [
See WIMS 5/11/09], U.S. EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer has posted its latest FY 2010 “Summary of the EPA’s Budget” which provides a 98-page overview of the Agency’s budget and the complete 932-page FY 2010 “Congressional Justification” (CJ) which is the very detailed formal title for the actual budget document which is submitted to Congress.

Access the hearing website and link to Jackson's testimony, Sen. Boxer's statement and a webcast (
click here). Access the statement from Sen. Inhofe (click here). Access the Budget in Brief (click here). Access links to the compete CJ and individual sections (click here).