Statement From Trust for Public Land on The U.S. House Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
Washington, D.C. — Today, the House Appropriations Committee advanced their FY2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill. This week has also brought headlines about record heat waves, flooding, and wildfires impacting much of the nation. In the face of these challenges, this bill would dramatically undermine the ability of federal agencies to protect our environment and public health.
Overall, the bill proposes significantly reduced funding for nearly every program in FY2024. Moreover, it would roll back much of the historic climate funding and programs enacted in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, rescinding more than $9.2 billion currently available for Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Environmental Justice programs, including $1.35 billion for the EPA Environmental Justice Grant Program which would enable marginalized communities to plan for extreme impacts of climate change.
These targeted cuts would directly impact those disadvantaged communities, Tribes, and others that need the most help, leaving them that much more vulnerable to climate impacts including heat-related illness and death, extreme wildfire, flooding, and coastal sea level rise.
In addition, the bill includes agency-wide cuts that, if enacted, would seriously hamper federal efforts and local partnerships to effectively manage and steward public lands, protect our environment, and meet urgent community needs. Proposed reductions include cuts of 18 percent to the Bureau of Land Management, 13 percent to both the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and nearly 40 percent to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Bill Lee, Senior VP of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations at Trust for Public Land, issued the following statement:
“The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill represents a giant step backwards. The draconian spending reductions proposed in this bill would hamstring federal conservation efforts and the cuts to the EPA would harm public health and threaten historically disadvantaged communities in the most need of environmental and climate justice. In the midst of a historic and deadly heat wave in the South, flooding in New England, and extreme wildfire threats across the West, this bill will increase the burdens and take away communities’ ability to prepare and protect themselves. We cannot afford to go back now. Trust for Public Land opposes these harmful cuts, and we look forward to working closely with the Senate to reverse them.”
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.