Friday, May 13, 2011

Burr wants to combine EPA and Energy. Got a problem with that? Obama does.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster blogs
The White House is opposing Republican Sen. Richard Burr's effort to merge the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department into one agency.

Burr had initially said the White House had found the idea “intriguing” but the administration has shot that down.

“The administration unequivocally opposes this bill,'' White House spokesman Clark Stevens told Politico, the online political news letter.

The Winston-Salem Republican responded by saying, “I wouldn't expect the president to sign this bill, unless he is serious about fiscal responsibility and debt reduction.”

Burr last week introduced a bill along with 15 GOP co-sponsors that would consolidate the two agencies, saying it would save $3 billion next year alone.

“The amount of money wasted annually on duplicative programs within the federal government is staggering,” Burr said. “This common-sense approach will reduce duplicative and wasteful functions across these two agencies and streamline our approach to a comprehensive, coordinated energy and environmental policy.”

Burr said he plans other cost-saving proposals, such as combining the Department of Labor and the Department of Commerce.

Environmentalists are skeptical, noting that EPA has long been a target of Republican conservatives.
Burr has received $881,095 in contributions from so-called “dirty energy” sources such as oil and coal, and electric and gas holding companies, according to the Institute for Southern Studies.