The Dollars and Sense of Climate Change

When I’m not in Washington D.C. acting as Chief Financial Officer for the EPA, I spend a lot of time at my home on the New Jersey coast. So, when Hurricane Sandy hit the area in the fall of 2012, I sat in my office in D.C., anxiously awaiting news from my friends. I wondered when I would be able to get back into the area and how much damage was caused by the storm; I noted the increasing regularity of extreme weather events due to climate change.

Luckily, I know that at EPA, we are taking action on climate change.

As Acting Chief Financial Officer, I oversee the agency’s budget – from formulating our budget proposal to Congress to allocating funds to our programs when Congress acts. Last month, we presented our budget proposal for FY 2015 to Congress. This FY 2015 President’s Budget proposes $199.5 million for climate change funding. This request represents a 25% increase for climate change funding over this year. It invests in climate science activities and ensures that the agency translates that science into sound regulatory analysis and action. Just as importantly, it supports communities in adapting to a changing climate by providing climate-ready decision support tools.

We know that states and local communities need support to fight climate change and reduce carbon emissions. The FY 2015 budget proposal increases state and local grants and includes an overall increase of $15 million for states to lay the groundwork to meet emission guidelines for reducing carbon dioxide.

The budget proposal also continues funding for programs that have positive environmental and economic bottom lines, by saving consumers money through increased energy efficiency. And it increases funding for climate research by more than $3 million to support the assessment of the impacts of climate change and provide data and tools necessary for EPA, state and local governments to effectively respond to human health and environmental needs.

As I think about the impacts of a single storm on my coastal community in New Jersey, I know that the EPA’s funding for climate change is very much needed in local communities, and I look forward to helping the agency put these resources to use for the benefit of Americans across the country.

For more information on EPA’s FY 2015 budget proposal, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/planandbudget/fy2015.

Maryann Froehlich is the Acting Chief Financial Officer at EPA and has broad responsibility for overseeing the Agency’s budget, performance management, financial services, and financial management. She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College with a B.S. in mathematics and physics and was awarded the degree of Masters in Public Administration by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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