Biden budget proposal includes nearly $2 billion increase for EPA
The White House’s proposed budget for fiscal 2023 would increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Energy Department and the Interior Department, according to materials shared with The Hill.
The budget proposes $11 billion for the EPA in fiscal 2023, an increase of about $1.5 billion from the $9.56 billion Congress authorized last year. The White House unsuccessfully sought similar increases in its proposed fiscal 2022 budget, with Congress eventually increasing the agency’s budget by about $323 compared to the previous year.
“The President’s budget request for EPA reflects this Administration’s unwavering commitment to protect people from pollution, especially those living in overburdened and underserved communities across America. It funds a broad suite of transformational programs enacted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and it will enable us to implement the President’s historic Justice40 commitment, among other key priorities,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
Regan noted that $5.7 billion of the proposed budget includes efforts to support environmental justice and cleanup efforts with tribes, states and localities.
The budget proposal also includes $3.3 billion for renewable energy, one of the White House’s major priorities at a time when the price of gas has soared amid the crisis in Ukraine. The White House has already released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and called for both domestic oil companies and nations such as Saudi Arabia to increase production, but renewables advocates have said the crisis illustrates the need to move beyond fossil fuels entirely.
The administration’s proposal also includes more than $18 billion for federal climate resilience programs, including federal firefighting funds and funding to improve the resilience of federal housing. Another $11 billion would go toward international climate finance, which President Biden has pledged to increase fourfold.
The budget is almost certainly doomed in the 50-50 Senate, but it comes months after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would not back the Build Back Better package, which contains many of the administration’s most sweeping climate goals. Manchin has indicated he could be persuaded to back a significantly smaller package including many of the same climate provisions.