Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, made the following remarks at today’s hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing featuring Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“I am pleased to see that the President’s Budget, as proposed, shows a real commitment to America’s environmental priorities, including confronting the threats of climate change, protecting our great water bodies, and investing in the nation’s water infrastructure. I believe that the Obama administration understands the significance of the EPA budget in protecting America’s health and environment as well as our effort to restore this nation to world leadership on environmental issues.
“The facts are undeniable -- climate change is real, and the Administration’s budget reflects a common-sense investment in protecting us from greenhouse gas pollutants.
“I am also encouraged to see the investment the EPA plans to protect and restore our great water bodies, including a record $63 million investment in the Chesapeake Bay to help implement President Obama’s Executive Order on this National Treasure. This budget request is a good next step, but I will be working with my colleagues on this Committee in the coming weeks to give the EPA new authority and funding authorization to really get the job done. I have introduced legislation, with a number of Watershed region colleagues, to finally restore the Chesapeake Bay.
“I also want to commend the Administration’s continuing commitment to water infrastructure. The President’s Budget contains $2 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and $1.3 million for the Drinking Water SRF. These figures dwarf those of the previous administration and they properly reflect both the needs of the nation and the consensus view of the EPW committee on the need for a major commitment to water infrastructure in America. I appreciate the Administration’s commitment, but – knowing how much we need to do -- I think we can do even better. I, along with a number of my colleagues, am supporting a request of $5.4 billion in water infrastructure funding for FY11.”