Sen. Carper Reacts to President Obama’s Budget Proposals for Energy and Environmental Programs

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement reacting to President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposals regarding energy and environmental programs:

“President Obama’s budget proposal sustains efforts to reduce harmful air pollution, clean our waterways, improve our national security by reducing our nation’s reliance on foreign oil and encourage the deployment of the next generation of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies. Additionally, many of these clean energy and environmental investments will benefit the state of Delaware – such as increasing funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration, state grant funding for air and climate change programs and offshore wind and solar research development. And in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the budget also makes investments in supporting local communities, like those along Delaware’s coast, to improve their ability to handle extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change.

“I do believe this proposal is lacking in a few areas when it comes to clean energy, though. The President’s budget cuts funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), which I championed in the Senate, by 75% from fiscal year 2012 funding and is 40% lower than the President’s request in his budget for 2013. DERA is a hugely successful clean air program – receiving almost $13 in benefits from every $1 invested. DERA not only cleans our air but also helps reduce our emissions of black carbon, the most significant pollutant contributor to climate change behind carbon dioxide. The President’s budget does however invest in international efforts to reduce black carbon abroad. Investing in black carbon programs abroad while ignoring our own emissions at home just doesn’t make sense. The budget also calls for making the production tax credit for wind permanent but does not mention the investment tax credit for wind. As many know by now, the production tax credit, unlike the investment tax credit, is not helpful in getting the nascent offshore wind industry off the ground in this country. I am disappointed that the President failed to address the tax needs of the offshore wind industry, which has enormous potential to create clean energy while growing jobs and a new economic sector, in this budget.”