Monday, February 14, 2011

Obama would zero out budget money to clean up dirty diesel engines

from Politico:

POLITICO Pro: EPA’s winners, losers with $1.3B cut
By Robin Bravender

2/14/11 Great Lakes restoration, clean water infrastructure and a program to slash diesel emissions were among the casualties of the Obama administration’s budget released Monday.

The White House fiscal 2012 spending plan cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by $1.3 billion – a 13 percent cut from 2010 enacted levels. That includes major reductions for several EPA programs, although the administration says it maintained funding for its “core priorities.”

Obama’s budget cuts the inter-agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by $125 million to $350 million. The program – championed by Great Lakes lawmakers – is aimed at fighting invasive species and reducing pollution in the lakes.

Clean water infrastructure funding also took a major hit – the White House budget cuts state revolving funds for clean water and drinking water projects by $950 million, which would leave EPA with $2.5 billion to fund state and tribal infrastructure projects.

The administration also seeks to terminate the $80 million program to cut diesel emissions, a reduction that immediately drew criticism from clean air advocates.

Frank O’Donnell, president of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch, called the president’s plan a “deplorable recommendation – penny wise, but tons of pollution foolish.” The diesel cleanup program has “not only reduced pollution, but has put people to work and helped with the economic recovery,” he added.

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