The Obama administration’s proposed 2015 budget doubles down on the president’s push for a $1 billion “Climate Resiliency Fund” to prepare localities for global warming.
The budget also increases funding for green energy projects and environmental regulations.
“And we know that future generations will continue to deal with the effects of a warming planet, so this budget proposes a smarter way to address the costs of wildfires,” President Obama told reporters on Tuesday. “And it includes over $1 billion in new funding for new technologies to help communities prepare for a changing climate today, and set up incentives to build smarter and more resilient infrastructure.”
Obama proposed his billion dollar fund to fight global warming last month while visiting drought-stricken California. The president hoped to use the drought to illustrate the urgency of addressing global warming.
But Republicans and other climate skeptics argue that the harsh winter hitting the rest of the country and lack of warming over the last 17 years means such a fund may not be necessary.
“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure and domestic energy needs should be priorities; however, they get completely dwarfed by political influences in the President’s proposed budget, like a $1 billion climate ‘resilience fund,’” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.
“Looking at what we’ve seen from the Administration, especially the EPA’s mismanagement, time and attendance fraud, and a politically aggressive regulatory agenda, what the federal government needs is top-down reform with increased accountability, not a status quo budget that further wastes taxpayer dollars,” Vitter added.
President Obama also promised to continue his “all-of-the-above” energy policy, but lashed out against the $4 billion in tax benefits received by the oil and gas industry while pushing for more spending on green energy.
“The president should be concerned about the deficit of new ideas in his budget,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute. “Raising taxes on U.S. oil and natural gas companies would undermine the investments in energy production that are driving job creation and moving us closer to energy security than we have been in decades.”
But the president’s budget allocates $6.9 billion in base funding for “clean energy” projects through several different agencies. This includes $5.2 billion for the Energy Department to spend on green energy and nuclear energy funding.
This would also include funding of “$700 million in cutting-edge sustainable transportation technologies to increase the affordability and convenience of advanced vehicles and domestic renewable fuels,” according to the Obama administration, as well as “[o]ver $500 million to increase the use and reduce the costs of clean renewable power from solar, wind, water, and geothermal energy.”
The budget would also give the Environmental Protection Agency more money to fight global warming. The budget requests funding for “Climate Change and Air Quality of $1.03 billion, a $41 million increase compared to FY 2014 enacted levels.” this would include $199.5 million to address global warming. The EPA is asking for $10 million more dollars and 24 additional staff to implement Obama’s climate agenda.
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