Bloomberg News: Obama ‘stashed’ $77 billion in ‘climate money’ across agencies to elude budget cuts


By: - Climate DepotMarch 15, 2017 9:09 AM with 0 comments

Key excerpts: At the National Science Foundation, the geosciences program almost doubled to $1.3 billion.

The budget for NASA’s Earth Science program increased 50 percent, to $1.8 billion.

Feds awarded $1 billion through its Community Development Block Grant program to projects protecting against climate change-related natural disasters.
In 2012, the Federal Highway Administration made climate-adaptation projects eligible for federal aid.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs created the Tribal Climate Resilience Program.

The range of climate programs is vast, stretching across the entire government.

The Congressional Research Service estimated total federal spending on climate was in 2013. It concluded 18 agencies have climate-related activities, and calculated $77 billion in spending from fiscal 2008 through 2013 alone. But that figure could well be too low.

Obama Administration goal was to make ‘programs hard to disentangle’

Obama ‘integrated climate programs into everything the federal government did’

Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did.

Via:

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-15/cutting-climate-spending-made-harder-by-obama-s-budget-tactics

To Cut Climate Money, First GOP Must Find Where Obama Stashed It

  • Obama aides spread money across the government to elude cuts
  • Most recent estimate puts tab at $77 billion from 2008-2013

President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies — in part so they couldn’t easily be cut.

There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did. The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration. In some cases, the idea was to make climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find.

“Much of the effort in the Obama administration was to mainstream climate change,” said Jesse Keenan, who worked on climate issues with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now teaches at Harvard University. He said all federal agencies were required to incorporate climate-change plans into both their operations.

The Obama administration’s approach will be tested by Trump’s first budget request to Congress, an outline of which is due to be released Thursday. Trump has called climate change a hoax; last November he promised to save $100 billion over eight years by cutting all federal climate spending. His budget will offer an early indication of the seriousness of that pledge — and whether his administration is able to identify programs that may have intentionally been called anything but climate-related.

Read more: Trump Said to Drop Climate Change From Environmental Reviews

The last time the Congressional Research Service estimated total federal spending on climate was in 2013. It concluded 18 agencies have climate-related activities, and calculated $77 billion in spending from fiscal 2008 through 2013 alone.

But that figure could well be too low. The Obama administration didn’t always include “climate” in program names, said Alice Hill, director for resilience policy on Obama’s National Security Council.