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Rethinking the Environmental Protection Agency

August 16, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) is the least transparent federal agency. It’s time to abolish, pare back or transfer many of EPA’s functions to other agencies.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget is the most impenetrable of all federal department and agency budgets. It is long past time to make the EPA budget at least as transparent and comprehensible as the budgets of other federal agencies.” The OMB should work with EPA to produce a budget which identifies clearly: 1)Who at the EPA is spending the appropriation; 2) How they’re spending it; and 3) Pursuant to what statutory authority they’re spending it. In particular, Congress must be made aware  how much the agency spends on nondiscretionary duties, which are assigned by Congress, versus how much it spends on discretionary activities of its own choosing. Simultaneously, many of the EPA’s functions should be abolished, pared back, or transferred to other agencies. This could be done without any negative effects on the nation’s environmental quality.

Myron Ebell is Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and a Policy Advisor to The Heartland Institute. @myronebell