APHA notes: House bill would slash EPA budget, block climate regulations

by Jennifer Miller, PhD

In the New York Times last week, four previous heads of the EPA make “A Republican Case for Climate Action.”

Today the head of Healthcare Without Harm joins the CEO of Gundersen Health System to argue that “Health Care Needs To Lead The Fight Against Climate Change.” Both emphasize that our health is at stake.

And yet according to the latest legislative update from the American Public Health Association:

On July 23, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies approved its FY 2014 spending bill. The bill would slash funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by 34 percent below current funding levels. The bill would prohibit EPA from moving forward with rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and to reduce sulfur in gasoline, rules supported by APHA and other public health organizations. It is unclear when the bill will move to the full House Appropriations Committee for a vote. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies has not yet taken up the bill.

The prospects for the bill may be uncertain, but what continues to be clear is the urgency for those of us working in health care and public health, working on health equity and environmental justice, to continue to push for climate action to protect the health of our communities.

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