Energy & Environment

Budget boosts Obama’s climate agenda

President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal would give a major boost to his climate change agenda, directing billions toward clean energy technology and programs incentivizing states to tackle global warming. 

In his budget proposal, Obama hammers home the impacts he claims climate change is wreaking on everyday Americans, emboldening his agenda.

{mosads}”Deep, persistent drought. Longer, fiercer wildfire seasons. High tides flooding downtowns. Severe storms wreaking havoc. This is the picture from the front lines of climate change in communities across America,” the budget states.

In a move to support his landmark climate regulation, which the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with shepherding to the finish line, the president is directing $239 million to back the agency’s efforts to address climate change. 

And $25 million of that will go to helping states develop their strategies for meeting targets set by the rule, which mandates the nation’s fleet of existing power plants cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Additionally, the budget proposes a $4 billion incentive program for states, rewarding those that go beyond the carbon emissions targets set by the climate rule. 

It’s a move that is sure to receive heavy scrutiny from the Republican-controlled Congress, which will likely fight to keep such funding out of the final budget. 

States that exceed the minimum timeline, and reduction requirements established in the climate rule will receive the funding to help tackle pollution impacting low-income communities, aid businesses in bulking up renewable energy and energy efficiency, and improve infrastructure. 

To support more pollution-cutting technology, the budget also invests roughly $7.4 billion in clean energy programs. 

The programs focus on research, development and deployment efforts to promote clean energy sources like wind, solar, and low-carbon fossil fuels, the White House said. 

Obama doesn’t stop there. 

The budget also takes aim at bulking up climate resilience and preparedness in communities.

“The goal is simple: to proactively reduce the risks communities and ecosystems face, rather than waiting until after disaster strikes,” the budget states. 

To help towns impacted with flooding exacerbated by climate change, the administration is directing $400 million to the National Flood Insurance Program. 

To boost coastal resilience to climate change another two programs under the Interior Department and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration will receive funding totaling $100 million. 

Another $89 million will go to fighting droughts, $20 million to improve the president’s recently released climate toolkit, and $200 million to FEMA’s climate mitigation efforts. 

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