The recently released spending bill would strip the salary of the White House’s climate adviser, stop the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing carbon dioxide emissions limits and clamp down on funding to fight global warming.
The bill bars the White House from using any appropriated funds to pay for the salary and any expenses for the “Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.” The office was recently vacated by former climate adviser Heather Zichal, who helped President Obama craft his new climate plan which bans coal-fired power and was instrumental in promoting other environmental efforts from the White House.
She was succeeded by Dan Utech, former White House deputy director for climate. Utech’s appointment received much praise from liberals and environmentalists alike. But now, he may find that his jobs comes with fewer perks.
“The president has charted an ambitious plan to address climate change, and Dan Utech is a smart choice to take the reins as the administration works to implement the president’s plan,” said Carol Browner, former White House climate czar and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Dan at the White House, and I know he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the job,” Browner said. “Dan steps in for Heather Zichal, who has been a true climate change leader and leaves a record of accomplishment in advancing the president’s agenda on clean energy, the environment, and climate change.”
The omnibus spending bill also includes a requirement that President Obama submit a report to Congress detailing government spending on global warming within 120 days of his 2015 budget request. A report from the Obama administration to Congress from last year said that spending on climate programs was $22.2 billion in 2013 and is projected to be $21.4 billion in 2014.
The bill also handicaps the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for livestock farms. The EPA will not get any funding to implement regulations applying Clean Air Act Title V permits to livestock farms.
Such permits cover emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor and methane emissions. The EPA will also be blocked from funding regulations that require livestock farmers to report greenhouse gas emissions from manure.
The bill, however, does not block the EPA from proceeding with regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. An attempt was made by Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe to block the agency from finalizing any regulations until it publicly reports on the economic impacts of its rules.
“While the President likes to tout that the economy is recovering, behind closed doors his administration is creating regulations that are stifling innovation, production and job creation,” said Inhofe.
“Under the Obama Administration, the EPA has finalized countless regulations affecting every industry and preventing millions of American jobs from being created,” Inhofe added.
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