EPA Head Warns of Further Cuts

By Mary Silver
Mary Silver
Mary Silver
Mary Silver writes columns, grows herbs, hikes, and admires the sky. She likes critters, and thinks the best part of being a journalist is learning new stuff all the time. She has a Masters from Emory University, serves on the board of the Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and belongs to the Association of Health Care Journalists.
March 4, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

EPA CHIEF: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee on Capitol Hill last month. Jackson stated that proposed budget cuts to the EPA could threaten the health of Americans. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
EPA CHIEF: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee on Capitol Hill last month. Jackson stated that proposed budget cuts to the EPA could threaten the health of Americans. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa P. Jackson testified before Congress on March 3. In an official statement, she said that while she supported President Barack Obama’s proposed 2011 budget cuts to the agency, they went beyond redundancies and into “difficult, even painful, choices.” The president’s budget will cut EPA funding by 13 percent, according to Jackson.

Jackson told the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies that the deeper cuts proposed by the Republicans would make the EPA “unable to implement or enforce the laws that protect Americans’ health, livelihoods, and pastimes.”

She summarized the programs that Obama’s proposed budget would fund. Restoration of the Great Lakes, money for states to ensure they provide clean drinking water to residents, and pilot projects “to evaluate and reduce risks from toxic air pollution through regulatory, enforcement, and voluntary efforts” were among the ones she named.

If Congress slashes funding for environmental protection, then “concentrations of harmful pollution would increase from current levels in the places Americans live, work, go to school, fish, hike, and hunt,” Jackson said.

“The result would be more asthma attacks, more missed school and work days, more heart attacks, more cancer cases, more premature deaths, and more polluted waters,” she added.

Jackson reminded Congress that it created the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act on a broadly bipartisan basis and said that she was grateful for that. “It [Congress] did so to protect American children and adults from pollution that otherwise would make their lives shorter, less healthy, and less prosperous,” she noted.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) proposed to cut more than $1.6 billion from the EPA’s budget, according to C-Span. His proposed cuts are more than double those of the president. If they are adopted, they would reduce funding for programs pertaining to clean air, drinking water, energy conservation, and renewable energy.

Mary Silver
Mary Silver
Mary Silver writes columns, grows herbs, hikes, and admires the sky. She likes critters, and thinks the best part of being a journalist is learning new stuff all the time. She has a Masters from Emory University, serves on the board of the Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and belongs to the Association of Health Care Journalists.