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Sen. Wicker Critical of EPA’s Proposal to Increase Funds to Reduce Emissions

JACKSON, Miss. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to increase funds for initiatives regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Senator Roger Wicker does not agree with the agency’s proposal because he says it will divert money that helps states and communities comply with clean air and water regulations.

“All across the federal government, agencies are making tough decisions to rein in the country’s spending,” Wicker said. “But I would rather help communities with safe drinking water and clean air than put funding of dubious value into carbon dioxide regulation in the name of climate change,” said Wicker.

The EPA has proposed a $41 million increase for programs to regulate carbon dioxide emissions in its budget for fiscal year 2015, but the agency has also proposed cuts for state assistance, which includes $430 million from the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, $150 million from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund, and $5 million from the Brownfields program.

“These are proven programs that are well-received by state and local communities and encourage EPA to work in a cooperative manner rather than a confrontational one,” Wicker continued. “Decreasing their support is especially troubling when you consider that some have estimated the amount needed to bring local water infrastructure into compliance with EPA regulations is over $2.5 trillion. We should be helping local communities rather than putting unfunded mandates on them”

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