A Long List of Climate Cuts in the House’s Budget

Written by Paul Mackie on . Posted in Act, The Wonk Room

In the above video, The Nature Conservancy’s Eric Haxthausen, U.S. climate change policy director, describes the importance of contacting your Senators to let them know how much the House’s proposed cuts would hurt Americans’ human health and survival, economic development, and both “natural” and national security.

The U.S. spends about $1 billion per year on global efforts to curb carbon pollution – “a very small portion of the federal budget” – and the House is proposing to slash about 40 percent of that funding, well above the cuts in most other areas of the budget. Here is The Nature Conservancy’s breakdown. Don’t hold your breath, it’s a painfully long list:

-       Eliminates U.S. contributions to the multilateral Climate Investment Funds, which protects forests and high-risk communities ($375M in the fiscal year 2010 budget, $635M in the projected fiscal year 2011 budget).

-       Cuts bilateral development assistance – crucial to our engagement with the world on economic development – by nearly $750M (or 30 percent from FY10 levels).

-       Cuts U.S. contributions to the Global Environment Facility by 63 percent from FY10 to $32 million. This is also a cut of 60 percent from FY08 levels. The “GEF” has been a particularly good investment for U.S. taxpayers because each dollar the U.S. contributes leverages four dollars in funds from other countries to complete projects that benefit U.S. and local country interests.

-       Eliminates funding for the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, which has provided tens of millions of dollars to conserve tropical forests.

-       Cuts funding for the Millennium Challenge Corporation – a means to fund forest protection established by former President George W. Bush – by $315 million from FY10 enacted levels.

-       None of the funds appropriated for the Executive Office of the President shall be for an Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, or any substantially similar position.

-       None of the funds appropriated to the Environmental Protection Agency may be related to climate change, except as relates to motor vehicles.

-       Bars the EPA from beginning to regulate carbon dioxide pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions from refineries and other major sources, as currently required by the Clean Air Act.

-       Cuts funding for the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Registry by 80 percent.

-       Eliminates U.S. contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

-       Eliminates the NOAA National Climate Service, a climate science program designed to provide scientific assistance to farmers, fishery managers, water managers and transportation managers.

-       Eliminates funding for the State Department’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, the main negotiator responsible for the United States at international treaty negotiations on climate change, and a positive force for the security of the United States.

-       Cuts the Bureau of Land Management’s “climate budget” — for ecosystem assessments and seed preservation – by roughly two-thirds to $5M. BLM’s “ground restoration activities” are also cut by a third from $7.5M.

-       Eliminates private land partnerships (funded at $6 million in FY10), climate inventorying and monitoring on the national refuge system (funded at $12 million in FY10), and support to the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (funded at $2 million in FY10).

-       Eliminates the U.S. Geological Survey’s climate effects network, climate science applications, and funding for science coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Science examining biological carbon sequestration is halved to $5M.

-       Eliminates 2 of the 3 National Park Service adaptation programs and cuts the funding in half to $10 million.

Video by Paul Mackie/The Nature Conservancy

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