Administration rails against GOP plan to block funding for climate regulations

A government spending bill authored by House Republicans that would block funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's pending climate rules is "irresponsible and reckless," a "preliminary analysis" of the legislation being circulated by the administration says.

"The impacts of some language would be far wider than they intend," the analysis, obtained by The Hill from a source in the administration, says.

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The analysis represents an initial effort by the administration to push back against the legislation, which would cut spending by $100 billion when compared to President Obama's 2011 budget request. The bill would also cut the EPA's budget by $3 billion. If passed, the bill would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

The legislation would create wide-spread industry uncertainty, delay the construction of new projects and result in job losses, the analysis says.

"[T]he [government spending bill] would undo all of the reasonable, common-sense steps EPA has taken to give certainty to American business re: carbon pollution permitting – and would compromise the plans of any company anywhere in the United States to build a new factory or expand an existing one," the analysis says.

The government spending bill would expose the EPA to litigation because the agency would not be able to issue greenhouse gas permits for new facilities.

"Therefore, remarkably, the result of this rider would be to throw all attempted large, job-creating construction projects across the country into great uncertainty – a completely irresponsible and counter-productive step given the nation’s economic situation," the analysis says.

The analysis also addresses other key provisions in the government spending bill. A provision in the bill blocking the EPA from retroactively vetoing Clean Water Act permits would also have wide-ranging effects, the analysis says.


The provision was added into the government spending bill after the EPA vetoed a permit for a major mountaintop removal mine project in West Virginia. The move infuriated Republicans, who argue that such efforts create industry uncertainty.

But the analysis says the effort threatens public health.

"More than 1/3 of the population – 117 million Americans – gets its drinking water from sources fed by waters that may lack protection under the CWA – the [government spending bill] would make it impossible for EPA to protect those waters and the health of Americans who rely on them," the analysis says.

The government spending bill would also prevent the administration from implementing the Energy Star program, which deals with appliance efficiency, and a major biofuels program, the analysis says.