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Proposed Federal Budget Guts Climate Change Programs

The President released the proposed Federal budget  this week, which carries recommendations that funding for numerous programs relating to combating climate change be unfunded. As reported by Bloomberg News, in addition to cuts in a number of other program, the following climate change and energy efficiency related programs will be unfunded under the newly proposed budget:

“Global Climate Change Initiative
◦ Provides financial assistance for global climate change initiatives in developing countries.

U.N. Green Climate Fund
◦ Funds projects to help developing countries mitigate and tackle the effects of climate change.

U.N. Climate Investment Funds
◦ Pairs developing nations with multi-lateral development banks to create programs to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

Clean Power Plan
◦ Creates national standards for carbon pollution from power plants and helps states develop and deploy clean energy alternatives.

International climate change programs
◦ Promotes clean and efficient energy technologies and the sharing of scientific climate research through multilateral initiatives and treaties.

Climate change research and partnership programs
◦ Research and report on climate change’s impact on the U.S.

PACE Earth Science Mission
◦ Would study global ocean color, monitor ocean health and provide data on climate factors including chlorophyll and aerosol particles.

OCO-3 Earth Science Mission
◦ Would measure atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on Earth via the International Space Station.

Energy Star
◦ Certifies and recognizes buildings and consumer products that meet specific energy-efficiency criteria.
Targeted Air Shed grants
◦ Assists local and state air pollution control agencies in developing plans and implementing projects to reduce air pollution in highly polluted areas.

Weatherization Assistance Program
◦ Provides grants to local governments to improve weatherization and energy efficiency of homes of low-income residents.

State Energy Program
◦ Supports local State Energy Offices in advancing energy efficiency and infrastructure.

NFIP Flood Hazard Mapping discretionary appropriation
◦ Provides states and local entities with data about flood risks in their area.

If removing funding for these programs proceeds, efforts by the United States to combat climate change, as well as participation in international climate change programs will be largely eliminated. It appears this will result in efforts to control carbon dioxide emissions in the United States to be set back by decades.

We have attempted in the past to report scientific studies, regulations and laws related to climate change without editorial comment. The current atmosphere in Washington of undercutting regulations and removing funding for programs aimed at protecting the environment and reducing the impacts of climate change has altered our view of the purpose of this Blog. Forty plus years ago the Federal government began to address the assault by polluters on our air, soil and water. It appears we are now on the threshold of a new era that ignores many of the lessons of the past. Going forward we intend to report on activities in the government that seek to undermine environmental protections of any nature. We believe that for the protection of generations to come it is essential to be aware of what our government is not doing and to bring it to the attention of those concerned with these issues.

-Steven Silverberg