Budget Compromise Protects EPA’s Ability to Regulate GHGs
In an 11th-hour push last night, Washington’s legislators found a budget compromise to the tune of $38 billion in cuts and prevented thousands of federal workers from being sent home without pay. In an apparent win for environmentalists, this newest budget compromise does not include the Republican party’s proposed provisions to limit environmental regulations and their enforcement by the EPA. This could help to ensure the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act.
According to the NY Times:
Democrats said that under the agreement, the budget measure would not include provisions sought by Republicans to limit environmental regulations and torestrict financing for Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions.
In the short-term, this also keeps EPA workers in their offices, allowing them to continue work on permit requests from energy companies across the nation. If Congress has not been able to reach an agreement, most federal employees would have faced an indefinite unpaid furlough starting Friday at midnight. At the Environmental Protection Agency, this furlough would have affected 90% of EPA employees, keeping them from work until Congress passed a new budget (or intermediate plan).