November 3, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
On behalf of Independent Women’s Voice, I applaud the passage of H.R. 4821, the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, introduced by Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho. Independent Women’s Voice fights for women and their loved ones by effectively expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well-intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being.
This bill would cut spending on wasteful programs that detract from the stated missions of the Department of Interior (DOI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while protecting recreational fishing, hunting, and outdoor activities and boosting safe and responsible domestic energy production.
Costly and extreme Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs are receiving funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
We applaud proposals to rescind $7.8 billion from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund—a $27 billion EPA slush fund promising to “mobilize financing and private capital to address the climate crisis.” Government meddling distorts market demand by picking winners and losers. Subsidies can’t save forced electric vehicle (EV) adoption and offshore wind projects either, raising the likelihood of a federal government bailout of these poor-performing industries.
Cutting $1.4 billion for the Environmental and Climate Justice Program—half of its allocated $2.8 billion budget—is also reasonable as these programs promise environmental reforms, but do little to deliver reasonable solutions without burdening taxpayers and further harming those in economically disadvantaged communities.
Furthermore, scrapping funding for DEI initiatives from the Day One (January 20th, 2021) Executive Order on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” will stop divisive efforts like the Justice40 Initiative. This is the first “whole-of-government” effort pushing environmental justice and economic growth “by delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities.” As IWF Center for Energy and Conservation Director Gabriella Hoffman notes, “Race shouldn’t be considered when allocating resources for environmental programs and initiatives; it should be needs-based and equally applied to all Americans regardless of demographics or zip code.”
These costly provisions undermine these agencies and lead them to neglect their responsibilities related to wildlife conservation, public lands access, balanced use, promoting clean air and water, and environmental stewardship.
H.R. 4821 also contains reasonable policy prescriptions to spur safe domestic energy development, wildfire mitigation, proactive forest management, and permitting reform for projects.
For all these reasons, we urge all senators and members of Congress to work toward the swift passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. IWV thanks Representative Simpson for his leadership on this issue.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice