President Barack Obama is proposing a 13 percent cut in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) budget to $8.97 billion.

The fiscal 2012 budget proposed Feb. 14 is a $1.3 billion reduction from 2010, the last time federal agencies had an enacted budget. The budget cuts include reducing aid to states for water quality by 27 percent to $2.54 billion and minimizing funds to restore the Great Lakes by 26 percent to $350 million.

Obama’s budget counters a proposal from House Republican lawmakers to cut EPA funding by $3 billion and prevent the agency from regulating greenhouse gases. The president’s budget calls for $25 million to help states implement the new EPA rules aimed at curbing emissions blamed for climate change.

The proposed budget provides the Department of Energy $29.5 billion for fiscal year 2012, up 4.2 percent from the proposed 2011 budget, and up 12 percent from the enacted 2010 budget. Some $8 billion would support research in clean energy like wind, solar and advanced batteries.

The budget would also provide $853 million to support new nuclear energy technologies, such as small modular reactors.The White House asked for $36 billion in federal loan guarantees to help finance the building of nuclear power plants, as it did last year. The loan program already has $18 billion in authority.

To help pay for the clean energy initiatives, the White House is asking Congress to repeal $3.6 billion in oil, natural gas and coal subsidies, a move that would total $46.2 billion over a decade. In addition, the budget cuts funding for oil and gas research and for hydrogen fuels programs.

Read more news and features on emissions regulation.

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