On EPA’s FY16 Budget
- EPA’s FY16 budget unabashedly avows that the President’s Climate Action Plan is the agency’s lodestar.* This is an unfortunate (and unwise) state of affairs, because the centerpieces of the President’s Climate Action Plan are discretionary regulations. (Indeed, the whole regulatory regime could’ve been avoided). Meanwhile, the agency remains woefully out of compliance with hundreds of non-discretionary duties as stipulated by Congress in the Clean Air Act. These regulations—the mandatory ones that EPA refuses to perform—pertain to conventional pollutants of the sort that could pose a threat to living human beings. By contrast, EPA’s climate regs would stave off sea-level rise equal to the thickness of three sheet of paper, a century from now. To recap: The EPA is ignoring its non-discretionary responsibilities regarding regulations that might achieve a human health benefit; instead of addressing this glaring and ongoing problem, the administration wants to pour resources into discretionary climate regulations that wouldn’t actually impact the climate.
- E&E PM’s Jeremy Jacobs reports ($) that EPA is seeking 3.5 million in order to hire 20 full-time-equivalent layers and associated staff “to provide legal counsel in support of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.” WOW! For starters, they might as well call this the ‘NRDC Full Employment Fund,’ because the green group obviously stands to win big were this provision to see the light of day. After all, what better lawyers to hire than the NRDC staffers who wrote the rule? Setting aside the special interests who stand to benefit, $50 million for 40 lawyers’ yearlong service seems steep to me, especially given that the agency doesn’t have nearly enough resources to perform its non-discretionary duties (see above). [click to continue…]