EPA wants your help spending $13B on ‘environmental justice,’ climate crisis
The Environmental Protection Agency is asking for public input on how it should spend more than $13 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act on fighting the "climate crisis" and advancing "environmental justice." The EPA announced Friday that it would be soliciting public comments on how to spend money on things like air quality and climate change projects. The $13 billion comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation that mostly boosted funding for the Democrats environmental and health care goals despite its name. "The Inflation Reduction Act provides states, tribes, communities and organizations with the unprecedented opportunity to make lasting progress to equitably protect people and the planet from air pollution and climate change," said Joseph Goffman, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPAs Office of Air and Radiation. "We are eager to engage with all who have a stake in the success of these efforts, and our next steps will be guided by the wisdom and experience from the conversations we have and the feedback we receive over the next several months." EPA SPENDS $50 MILLION ON AIR MONITORING FOR MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES WITH BIDEN SPENDING BILL FUNDS EPA set up a webpage for the public on six grant programs and will collect input on these initiatives through Jan. 18, 2023. One grant program will let EPA distribute $5 billion to help states, local agencies and tribes develop and implement "strong climate pollution reduction strategies." Another will send $4 billion to reduce transportation emissions, including by replacing "dirty heavy-duty vehicles with clean alternatives," and a third will spend $1.5 billion to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. EPA SPENDS NEARLY $1 BILLION ON ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES AMID NATIONWIDE BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE EPA has said the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed in August, authorized the "largest investment to combat the climate crisis in U.S. history." In total, the new law allows EPA to spend $41.5 billion on projects to monitor air quality, reduce pollution and support the Biden administrations goal of "environmental justice," which the administration defines as getting resources to low-income and other "marginalized" communities that it says bears the brunt of pollution. EPA said its goal is to make sure the goals of the Inflation Reduction Act are "realized by all people, particularly those who have been most burdened by environmental, social, and economic injustice." In late October, EPA provided nearly $1 billion for electric school buses and focused most of that effort on low-income, rural and tribal school districts. BIDEN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON CLIMATE CRISIS, FOCUSES ON EXTREME HEAT AND BOOSTING OFFSHORE WIND The Biden administrations climate push has also seeped into other federal agencies. The Department of Health and Human Services runs an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), which Republicans targeted in October as possible wasteful spending at a time when the health agency should be focused on things like the fentanyl crisis, and when the administration should be more worried about runaway spending. "Wasteful spending on a radical left-wing agenda is par for the course for this administration and has led to historic inflation," Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee wrote to HHS last month. "It raises serious questions as to why HHS is now spending millions of taxpayer dollars and expanding the federal bureaucracy when Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills, buy gas and groceries, and pay for transportation to and from work."