Statements and Speeches
Environment and Public Works Committee
Mar 22 2012
WASHINGTON - Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement on the hearing, "Environmental Protection Agency Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Hearing:"
"One of my top priorities this year – which I share with President Obama – is to continue to support initiatives that spur job growth and create a nurturing environment where communities in Delaware and beyond can create a solid foundation for job creation and prosperity. I believe, for the most part, the President's budget is a responsible solution to ensure our continued economic recovery and long-term economic growth, providing for a brighter future for Delaware families.
"President Obama's budget proposal continues our efforts to save money, reduce harmful air pollution, and improve our national security by reducing our nation's reliance on foreign oil and encouraging the deployment of the next generation of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.
"Bringing balance to our federal budget will be difficult, requiring a shared sacrifice. From government agencies to corporations, we need to take a hard look at all of the options available to us – both in terms of raising revenue and reducing spending – and we all must share in the sacrifices required to rein in the deficit.
"However, I am concerned that President Obama's budget makes cuts to very effective programs within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that not only clean our environment and protect our health, but also spur economic growth.
"One concern I have is on the dramatic funding cut for one of EPA's most successful programs, the life-saving Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). This recently reauthorized program is a bipartisan, common-sense approach to cutting toxic diesel emissions that threaten the lives of our communities and our children. By retrofitting or replacing dirty diesel engines – like those on the school buses that take our children to school every day – the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act saves lives and creates a demand for clean diesel technology, which in turn creates American jobs. The President's budget cuts DERA funding in half from fiscal year 2012 and limits the Administrator's ability to effectively deliver DERA funding by eliminating the grant program. Cutting and limiting the use of DERA funding, which has shown a consistent high return on its investment, for every $1 invested, we get over $13 in health and economic benefits in return, just doesn't make sense.
"I am also concerned with the elimination of funding for the EPA's Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health, or BEACH Act, grant program. This program has been very important to coastal states like Delaware. Delaware is home to some of the nation's cleanest and most-visited beaches. These beaches are not only an important recreational and environmental asset for our state; they are also an important economic engine for the region. By creating confidence that our beaches are safe through water quality monitoring and notifications, the BEACH Act grant program works to keep visitors coming back to our nation's beaches and investing in country's coastal communities year after year. This type of monitoring cannot be done by the states alone, and therefore should continue to be funded.
"As we work through the budgeting process, I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Administration on efforts to curb our federal debt and deficit while ensuring that we invest in key priorities for the First State and for the nation."