Be Careful What You Wish For

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A week ago, Paul Ryan and many other members of Congress began to talk about calling President Obama’s bluff and allowing the budget sequestration voted into effect last year to occur.  If budget sequestration takes effect on March 1, 2013, according to a September 14, 2012 report from the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), the EPA will face a projected $716 million budget cut.

The OMB projected that the following programs would face cuts of 8.2%:
— Superfund (approximately $121 Million)
— State and tribal assistance grants (approximately $293 Million)
— EPA’s program and management account (approximately $220 Million)

Other programs facing similar percentage cuts, but in lesser amounts include: EPA’s science and technology fund; office of the inspector general; leaking underground storage tank trust fund; and inland oil spill programs account.

The OMB report stated that these cuts would degrade the EPA’s “ability to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe” and urged Congress to prevent these cuts. Reportedly, the EPA is developing its 2014 fiscal year budget due out shortly without taking these cuts into account. February is going to be a very interesting month. Depending on what happens, we may see a much smaller government — possibly impacting us in ways that most of us couldn’t begin to expect.

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