The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee on July 15 approved the fiscal year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on a vote of 29-19.
The legislation includes funding for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.
In total, the bill includes $30.2bn in base funding, an increase of $162m above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and a reduction of $409m below President Obama’s request. In addition, the legislation also includes policy provisions to stop “unnecessary, job-killing regulations by federal agencies such as the EPA,” said a statement from the GOP majority.
“This bill will ensure the proper management of the nation’s vast natural resources, invest in programs for the well-being of our local communities, and help prevent and fight the wildland fires that cause millions of dollars in damages every year, all while keeping a close eye on the spending of each and every tax dollar,” said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky. “In addition, this legislation contains important provisions to rein in the harmful regulatory overreach of federal bureaucracies that will unnecessarily cause job loss and that will weaken our recovering economy.”
Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert, R-Calif., said: “The Interior and Environment bill provides the agencies within its jurisdiction with the resources necessary to carry out their mission in times that are fiscally challenging. This bill also protects Americans from the onslaught of job-killing regulations coming from the EPA, and makes difficult decisions to carefully balance national priorities.”
Said a committee report on the bill about targeted EPA programs with “unattainable” technology goals: “EPA’s proposed standards for new power plants which assume carbon capture and storage technologies that are not commercially available and scalable.” The bill under the same category also targets EPA’s proposed standards for existing, mostly coal-fired power plants.