Washington, D.C. – This Wednesday President Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2014. Anna Aurilio, the Director of Environment America’s Washington, D.C. office, issued the following statement in response:
“President Obama’s FY14 budget will help protect our parks and repower America with clean energy while eliminating many outrageous subsidies to Big Oil and coal.
“On behalf of all of us who love our parks, we are thrilled that President Obama, for the first time, proposed mandatory funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The president’s recommendation of $600 million in FY14 for the nation’s premier land conservation program, with a goal of seeing full and dedicated funding starting in FY15, is very encouraging. The president’s budget also proposed an increase to the National Park Service’s operating budget of more than $50 million from the FY12 enacted levels. Although we had hoped to see President Obama duplicate the full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in FY14, which was included in the recent Senate budget, we are pleased that he is prioritizing our great outdoors at a level higher than previous years.
“President Obama’s budget doubles down on renewable energy and energy efficiency by making permanent critical renewable energy tax credits, launching an Energy Efficiency Race to the Top challenge for states to cut energy waste, and requesting increased funding for developing and driving down the cost of wind and solar technologies, and increasing funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program.
“Congress should follow the President’s lead on these critical issues.
“Unfortunately the president’s budget also cuts funding for EPA’s clean water programs and Congress should increase this funding to protect our families health and the planet.
“A recent EPA report showed more than half our waterways are in bad shape. While we are encouraged that the president’s budget provides continued funding for protecting iconic waterways like the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, some critical EPA programs were severely cut. We’re disappointed that the president slashed funding for the State Revolving Fund by $472 million, to $1.9 billion from $2.4 billion. States depend on this fund to update water infrastructure and protect waterways and communities from runoff pollution and sewage overflows. We are also disappointed that the budget cuts funds for the Superfund program, which has cleaned up tens of thousands of hazardous waste sites over the last 20 years.
“We will continue to work with the president and Congress to protect Americans’ health and environment.”