Proposed 2016 Budget Addresses Carbon Pollution
February 06,2015, 15:49 PM
President Obama and his Administration have already made great strides towards implementing his Climate Action Plan, and his proposed FY2016 budget hopes to continue this forward momentum.
Here are a few things that stood out to us:
- $7.4 billion for clean energy programs, a $900 million increase; from our perspective we need to be spending even more, especially in the area of basic clean tech R&D, but for now we'll take this proposed increase.
- $55 million for Power Plus supporting career retraining for coal industry workers and economic development in Appalachia.
- Making permanent the production tax credits for wind and solar; while we don't favor making them permanent, we do support extending them until they are able to compete fair and square with dirty energy, which has gotten federal help for over a century and continues to do so, still receiving even more than clean energy does.
- Speaking of dirty energy subsidies, they currently equal $4 billion, and the Administration proposes to eliminate them, for which we're all in favor!
- Support for the President's goal of cutting in half the energy wasted by America's homes and businesses, including the accelerated development of energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings. This will provide consumers the freedom to choose to be good stewards, instead of our current situation where in many instances we lack such freedom.
- Helping our country to become resilient to the impacts of climate change and increased extreme weather through a variety of state and local initiatives, such as funding AmeriCorps volunteers to work in local communities. This is consistent with The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College and our Joseph Pledge to empower local congregations and communities take personal responsibility in preparing for increased extreme weather.
- $500 million to the newly created Green Climate Fund to help poor countries respond to climate change; we are the most prosperous nation on the earth, and our generosity in helping poor people cope with climate impacts will not go unnoticed by the Lord. The Administration's proposed amount is not all that is required, but it keeps us moving in the right direction.
- $239 million addition funding for EPA to continue implementing the Clean Power Plan and other steps to police our nation's air and water in defense of our children's health and lives.
Also related to the Administration's climate efforts, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a draft regulation on methane leaks. We are generally supportive of the 111b process for new and modified sources offered in the draft and the impetus created for a 111d standard to deal with existing sources. The new standard must only be considered as a first step in eliminating fugitive methane that poses as a tremendous threat not only to our climate but to children's health and welfare.
We look forward to continuing to support the President in his historic efforts to fight climate change, and building bipartisan support across our nation for strong clean energy future and defending our children's health.