EDITORIAL

EPA in the Crosshairs

Science  22 Apr 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6028, pp. 397
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207012

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Summary

There are those in the U.S. Congress who seem determined to dismantle the nation's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the name of economic growth and jobs. This despite EPA estimates that last year, the accumulated benefits of the Clean Air Act alone exceeded its costs by more than $1 trillion.* The struggle over the EPA has just been played out within the context of the larger budgetary conflict between the Republican-controlled House and the Obama Administration. In the brinkmanship negotiations that kept government doors open, the EPA appears to have escaped more or less intact. The agency will have to absorb $1.6 billion in cuts, or about 16% of its 2010 budget. Although not fatal, those cuts will surely slow the implementation of programs that are under legislative attack, including those that tackle water and air pollution. But the battle is far from over.