Budget deal doesn’t include EPA riders

April 11, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.

President Barack Obama visits the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, April 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

It sounds like the budget deal late Friday night averting a government shutdown went through without policy riders concerning climate change and mountaintop removal regulation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

President Obama mentioned this specifically in his statement Friday night:

At the same time, we also made sure that at the end of the day, this was a debate about spending cuts, not social issues like women’s health and the protection of our air and water. These are important issues that deserve discussion, just not during a debate about our budget.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer elaborated on Saturday:

We also made sure this was a debate about spending cuts, not social issues or pursuing an ideological agenda that has nothing to do with our budget. We all understand that these are important issues that deserve discussion, just not during a debate about our budget and at a time when the American people expect more out of their government.

We were able to stop Republican efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act as well as Planned Parenthood and international family planning programs. They also wanted to limit funding for the establishment of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and block the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing clean air and water rules. While we made significant cuts, we just couldn’t afford to cut these important programs that are critical to our nation.

It also appears that the deal does not include language that was discussed concerning an inter-agency study reviewing the potential economic impacts of some of EPA’s efforts.

3 Responses to “Budget deal doesn’t include EPA riders”

  1. Red Desert says:

    We (those concerned about clean air and the environment) pulled an upset! Probably only the first round–debt ceiling, ‘012 budget fights to come.

    On another topic, but definitely of interest here, natural gas possibly worse than coal for the climate?


  2. Red Desert says:

    Just learned that the gray wolf was removed from ESA as part of the budget deal. What else was in that deal we haven’t heard about?

  3. Red Desert says:

    Hey Ken,

    I see you deleted my comment. I assume you took it as not relevant.

    I’m not so sure. I figured you could read between the lines, but if you want I’ll spell it out.

    The Administration and Democratic leadership willing to cave on a regional environmental issue that splits the Democratic caucus–cave to industries with a lot more political bark than real economic bite (without government support, there probably wouldn’t be ranching the Rockies, MTR provides a fraction of total employment in Appalachia, and economic costs may even exceed economic benefits)–issues that have become ideological signposts, especially for the right, and issues that are wrapped in all sorts of mythologies–the yeoman farmer, the frontier rancher, the coal miner–that cloak modern day realities.

    Like I say, it turns out this bill was not quite as advertised. Who knows what other surprises are in there. And there are more fights ahead.

    The few modest gains we’ve made protecting our land and water from MTR are next on the block.

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