On March 9, 2022 the U.S. Congress approved the FY 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act (FY-2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill).H.R. 2471) and sent it to President Joe Biden’s desk, where it was signed into law on March 15, 2022.
The bill reflects a 3.3% budget increase for EPA. The Agency has been suffering from budget cuts for years under Trump’s administration. However, the final appropriations bill provides a welcome relief to the Agency. However, the Agency’s $9.6 billion allocation still falls $1.6billion short of Biden’s request.
The final FY 2022 Omnibus bill comes after months of disagreements, delays, and negotiations to fund the federal government’s fiscal year, which began October 1, 2021. This year’s operations have been subject to a number of continuing resolutions (CRs)
“While the government never shut down, top Pentagon officials repeatedly pleaded for lawmakers to pass a full-year budget and bemoaned the effects of operating under a CR, saying it hurt readiness, hampered their ability to start new programs, and slowed modernization,” reports Air Force Magazine.
The Omnibus bill totals $1.5 trillion in funding.
“The bipartisan funding bill [provides] a record $3.2 billion, an increase of $338 million over 2021, for the Department of Energy to build clean energy projects and boost clean energy manufacturing,” states a White House Fact Sheet. “It also includes $100 million in resources dedicated to advancing environmental justice at the Environmental Protection Agency and provides an increase of $776 million for the Department of Interior and increases funding at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent wildfires.”
Environmental groups characterize the final bill as a failure, stating it “ignores [the] climate emergency” and the “extinction crisis,” states a Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) Press release.
The CBD points out that inflation is actually reflected in the bill.
“The bill would prohibit the EPA from addressing any emissions from the livestock industry despite the clear scientific evidence that livestock are a massive source of greenhouse gas emissions,” states the CBD press release. “The EPA would also continue to be forced to consider dirty biomass energy as carbon neutral.”
“This budget is an environmental catastrophe and a colossal failure of leadership by the Democratic establishment,” says Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the CBD. “Status quo funding for the EPA and Department of the Interior in the face of the climate and extinction crises is a serious blow to hopes for a livable planet and abundant wildlife for the next generation. … “The few breadcrumbs thrown to environmental priorities simply can’t compete with the overwhelming financial and policy support Congress keeps doling out to special interests … Budgets are a reflection of our values, and this one clearly shows the environment is just not important to far too many politicians.”