EPA Budget Focus: GHG Trumps More-Serious Environmental Issues

One of the best ways to keep tabs on what’s happening with air issues inside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is through a newsletter called the Clean Air Report of the aptly titled online news service InsideEPA.com.  The Clean Air Report is a (rather pricey) bi-weekly publication produced by Inside Washington Publishers, which, according to their website, “for over 25 years has provided exclusive, relevant news about the federal policymaking process to professionals who have a need to know about the process.”

The most recent issue of the Clean Air Report newsletter (March 27, 2014) contains back-to-back budget articles that starkly reveal one of the major problems with the federal government’s hype of climate change.  The first article, “EPA FY15 Proposal Boosts Funds for States To Implement Climate Rules,” begins by stating that:

“President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal for EPA would significantly boost funding for climate programs including states’ efforts to implement the agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) regulatory agenda, which may help alleviate states’ fears of resource burdens in crafting plans to comply with EPA’s GHG rule for existing utilities. …”

The article that immediately follows this lengthy climate-rules budget article is “EPA Budget Proposal Leaves Fate of Key Air Toxics Assessment in Doubt.”  This second article starts with:

“EPA’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal leaves the fate of the agency’s major nationwide assessment of risks from air toxics in doubt due to uncertainty over funding for the program, which could potentially mean another delay for EPA’s latest version of the assessment after scrapping a planned update last year due to resource constraints….”

As an air-pollution meteorologist and educator with 35 years of experience, I can attest to the fact that air toxics (hazardous air pollutants) exposure has more immediate and potentially more long-term impact on human health and the environment than the ostensive enemy-of-everything-good greenhouse gases.  As the focus and public monies are directed by this Administration to GHGs, much-needed attention and funding for other serious environmental concerns, besides hazardous air pollutants exposure (like water infrastructure), will also likely suffer.

The passages above represent one comparison among so very many others that showcase misplaced priorities.

Real public health is not well served by pursuit of green hobgoblins.


Anthony J. Sadar is author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic's Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books, 2012).