Insights: Publications Follow the Money – What the Biden Budget Tells Us About Environmental Priorities

Kilpatrick Townsend Environmental Reg Watch Blog

Written by Susan H. Richardson
On April 9, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget sent the Biden Administration’s Discretionary Budget Request to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D.-VT, chairman of the Appropriations Committee (Biden Budget). This $1.5 Trillion request covers all corners of funding the government for FY-22 and sets forth broad and ambitions goals with the proposal directed toward large categories – Investing in Public Health; Creating an Economy that Works for All; Tackling the Climate Crisis; Advancing Equity; and Restoring America’s Global Standing and Confronting 21st Century Security Challenges. Enclosure 2 of the Biden Budget contains the 2022 Discretionary Summary for Major Agencies and requests $11.2 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a $2 billion or 21.3 percent increase from the 2021 enacted level. Although much of the “environmental” spending is focused on the Biden Administration’s pillars of combatting climate change and environmental equity, the Biden Budget provides a more detailed window into EPA’s priorities for the coming year. This window was further opened by the release of EPA’s detailed FY 2022 EPA Budget on May 26th (EPA Budget). The EPA Budget builds on the broad directives of the Biden Budget and further describes how the agency has designed its budget to further the Biden’s Administration’s environmental goals, focusing on four cross-cutting priorities: Tackling the Climate Crisis through Science; Advancing Environmental Justice; Supporting State, Tribal and Local Partners; and Expanding the Capacity of EPA. Although EPA sets out broad categories for budget priorities, the actual breakdown identifies spending priorities beyond the assigned category.

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