President's Budget Addresses Waste Industry

Washington, D.C. – President George W. Bush’s $2.13 trillion 2003 proposed budget, which was announced on Feb. 1 and would begin Oct. 1, includes several important issues and implications for the solid waste industry.

Specifically, Bush has asked for a 2.7 percent increase in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) discretionary 2003 spending and tax incentives to encourage energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources. Conversely, the department's oil and natural gas programs would be reduced significantly. The DOE would get $21.92 billion, up $582.2 million from current levels. The department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs would receive $1.31 billion. The DOE also would provide $1.1 billion in tax credits for energy produced from landfill gas (LFG).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would receive $7.7 billion, which would include $200 million to reclaim brownfields sites, $1.3 million for Superfund cleanup and $15 million for a state enforcement program to help states and tribes have a greater responsibility to enforce environmental laws and regulations.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) would receive $58.8 billion, a 3.2 percent decrease from the previous year, which includes a drop in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHA) budget from $29.2 billion to $28.7 billion, and $4.3 billion in outlays for the new Transportation Security Administration.

Congress will have an opportunity to change the administration’s proposed 2003 budget.