A major new report says the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions reduction fund, designed to help states pay for emissions curbs, “so far has not provided any effective incentives for emission reductions,” according to The Hill.
The report also highlights problems with the program’s transparency and helps explain why its “lack of effectiveness so far has become more apparent as other states and other agencies begin to call on Congress to maintain and modernize the program.”
The Environmental Protection Agency’s emission reduction fund was created in the Trump administration’s 2017 budget. The bipartisan funding bill passed by Congress this year provided funding through 2022, with an added provision adding $2 billion in additional funding for the fund. But the $12 billion program still won’t reach its full potential because only two states are yet enrolled — Massachusetts and New York — with around $1 billion available. The rest of the funds have yet to be spent.
“In this report, we found that the ERCPA Administrator will have to prove the fund’s usefulness and importance in meeting America’s climate change and clean air goals — without adequate evidence or support,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, said in a statement.
The Environmental Protection Agency responded to the report with a statement, saying, “Today’s report by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute reveals the most unfortunate and partisan attacks on clean air protections. However, we will continue to take every opportunity to educate lawmakers that this program helps communities across the country reduce energy consumption and promote healthy environments.”
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