House Republicans are pushing to cut billions of dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, as new legislation moves through the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The bill, known as the Protecting Our Nation’s Infrastructure (PENI) Act, would eliminate funding for EPA’s Office of Inspector General and other agency offices.
The legislation would also cut EPA’s funding for research and development, environmental compliance, climate change research, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
It would also slash the agency’s budget by more than $400 million.
The House Energy & Commerce Committee passed the bill on Tuesday, which is expected to be debated and voted on Wednesday.
“The EPA’s mission is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Americans, and its work is focused on protecting the environment, the public, and American workers,” said Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the lead sponsor of the bill.
“EPA’s budget should not be a blank check to the oil and gas industry.
The EPA should be a partner, not a provider of tax breaks and handouts.”
The bill was introduced on March 27, and was initially proposed by Rep. Don Young (R) of Michigan.
In an interview with Politico, Camp said he was “absolutely” behind the legislation.
The PENI Act would eliminate about $600 million from the EPA’s 2017 budget, according to the House Budget Committee, and would cut funding for the Office of Inspectors General, the Office for Compliance Programs, the American Energy Research and Development Center, and NOAA.
The agency also would be cut by about $300 million from its annual research and education funding.
The Interior Department would also be cut nearly $400,000, according the budget, and by more $100 million from NOAA.
Trump has repeatedly praised the oil industry, calling it “the cleanest, most efficient energy source.”
“The fossil fuel industry has been a great supporter of my campaign.
I am proud to call them my allies,” Trump said in an interview on March 6, 2018.
“They are clean, they are clean energy, and they are an example to the rest of the world.”