Statements and Speeches
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Environment & Public Works’ Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement for the committee’s hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed 2015 budget.
“I share President Obama’s view that the choice between a clean environment and a strong economy is a false one. We must continue to support initiatives that spur job growth and protect our environment. I believe, on balance, the president’s budget is a responsible proposal that will strengthen 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.
“At the same time we need to bring balance to our federal budget, which requires a shared sacrifice. From government agencies to corporations, we need to examine all of the options available to us – both in terms of raising revenue and reducing spending – and we must make tough but smart choices that curb our debt and deficit while still investing in key priorities and protecting the least of these among us.
“To that end, 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 is a dramatic funding cut for one of EPA’s most successful programs, the life-saving Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). This 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. DERA can also help our global climate. We heard testimony on September 24, 2014 in this Committee that black carbon pollution is estimated to be the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide and the most cost-effective way to reduce black carbon emissions is by cleaning up old, dirty diesel engines through programs like DERA. It is clear DERA helps our states and local communities meet national clean air goals, while also helps our nation meet global climate goals. Gutting DERA, 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 the 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 on the committee and the administration to curb our federal debt and deficit while continuing to invest in key priorities for the First State and for the nation.”