Ryan plan, due to pass today, would bring environmental spending back to '01 levels

More congressional GOP futility.

E&E Daily reports:

Barely 18 months after taking the House reins with a plan to bring down discretionary spending to 2008 levels, Republicans today plan to approve a budget that would reach back much further when it comes to the environment — investing at a level last seen in 2001.

The more peripatetic pot of money that President Obama has boosted to push renewables and efficiency at the Department of Energy would fare little better under the GOP plan, its budget authority for fiscal 2013 slashed by more than half relative to the current year’s level. Even the scientific account that funds DOE’s advanced research arm — which senior Republicans and their presidential front-runner Mitt Romney support — would see a $1.2 billion budget hit in 2013 under the House GOP plan.

Conservationists and clean-power boosters might take heart in the political morass that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan is likely to land in soon after it clears the chamber today, with almost zero chance of passing the Senate. But with an across-the-board sequester of domestic funding set to take effect early next year, walloping energy and environmental programs as hard as they were by August’s debt-limit deal, even the best-case scenario amounts to a thorny path ahead for U.S. EPA and DOE…

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