The EPA has received over $1 billion in funding over the past four years, and more than $1.6 billion has been provided through grants, contracts, or loan guarantees.
But this funding comes with a significant caveat: It’s only for projects related to climate change.
This means that even though the EPA has committed to research on how to mitigate climate change, they’re still limited by the number of grants they can provide.
So far, the EPA hasn’t been able to fund research on the causes of climate change even though it has issued nearly 20,000 new permits for oil and gas development.
Now, the Trump administration wants to give the EPA more power over climate change through a bill that’s called the Climate Protection Act.
If signed into law, the bill would give the agency greater latitude to choose the projects that they would fund.
What’s the Climate Protect Act?
The Climate Protection ACT is an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on March 1, 2020.
It allows the EPA to grant $3.8 billion in grants to organizations that can’t find funding for climate change-related research.
These grants would cover the research that’s already underway, but would also cover research that is being conducted now and could be completed in the future.
This new funding would allow the agency to target projects that address climate change and will be funded for at least five years.
The bill would also give the President additional flexibility in selecting the grants he would award to groups that could not obtain funding through existing programs.
According to a recent report from the National Resources Defense Council, which has been advocating for climate research funding since the 1980s, the administration’s funding priorities are inconsistent.
“At the time of the President’s election, the National Energy Policy Act of 2007 provided the EPA with a grant-and-advance program to fund climate research, but the program was never fully funded, and funding for this program did not meet its goal of $2 billion,” NRDC Executive Director Matt Kibbe told Quartz.
“After the President became President, the funding was cut by 30 percent, and the grant-only program was reinstated, which would mean the program would be funding climate change for the next five years, but we still cannot see how it would be funded.
This is why we think it is imperative that Congress act to restore the funding to the program.”
If signed into a law, it would also make it easier for the EPA and the White House to set up a climate-research project.
Under the current system, scientists need to apply to the EPA for a grant application and then submit a draft of the project to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The proposal is reviewed by the OMB, which then decides whether to award the grant to a project.
If the grant is approved, the project is sent to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for funding.
Once the NSF receives the grant, it must then complete the grant application process.
While the Trump Administration is seeking funding for more climate research in the current budget, it’s not clear how the proposed bill will address the current funding crisis.
A new report from The Climate Institute found that climate change funding is not nearly as important as the White Houses climate-change strategy.
In its report, the report found that only 17 percent of the money the EPA was awarded under the climate-protection program was actually used for climate-related activities.
This compares to 43 percent of climate-protected grants awarded under OMB’s climate-resilience program, which provides grants to groups to help develop strategies for reducing the risk of climate impacts.
Another problem is that climate-remedy grants have a very low return on investment, the Climate Institute’s analysis found.
A report from a group of scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder found that while the grants provided a significant return on investments, the results of these grants were not statistically significant and could potentially be attributed to “unexpected bias” in the grant data.
Even with this in mind, the new bill would not directly address climate-safety grants, but it would make them more accessible to those interested in funding them.
Under the Climate Act, grants would be available for a “one-year period, but not more than three years.”
This means it would only be available through a one-year extension of existing programs, which the Whitehouse is trying to push through Congress.