Biden budget sheds light on EPA and DOE priorities

In late March, President Biden provided his proposed FY 2023 budget to Congress. Overall proposed spending is $5.8 trillion, with a budget shortfall of $1.42 trillion, or about half of last year’s shortfall. These figures are before any tax increases or funding the Build Back Better package that stalled in 2021. The commentary that accompanies the budget provides useful insights into the administration’s priorities.

DOE to significantly expands clean energy programs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is focused on tackling climate change through clean energy innovation, infrastructure and manufacturing, all of which are also expected to create jobs. Advancing environmental justice and equity, and revitalizing energy communities are also priorities. Finally, DOE also will focus on strengthening the nation’s nuclear, biological and cyber security. The administration requested $48.2 billion for DOE, a 15.1-percent increase from the 2021 enacted level, as it works toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 50 – 52 percent by 2030, from 2005 levels, and moving to a net-zero GHG economy by 2050.

EPA outlines strategic priorities

According to the budget narrative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has renewed its commitment to follow the science, follow the law and be transparent, while adding a fourth foundational principle: to advance justice and environmental equity. For the first time, it also includes a goal to tackle the climate crisis. Other goals in the agency’s strategic plan include ensuring clean air and water, safeguarding and revitalizing communities, ensuring the safety of chemicals and enforcement/compliance. President Biden requested $11.9 billion for EPA, a 29-percent increase from the 2021 enacted level.