Senate Bill Would Combine DOE and EPA
May 11, 2011
I keep hearing buzz about how much money the federal government
could save if it eliminated and consolidated duplicative programs. In response
to this, a senator from North Carolina recently sponsored a bill that would
combine the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency
I don’t know if this bill (S.892) from Senator Richard Burr,
R-N.C., will have any legs, but it’s certainly an intriguing idea. Honestly,
I’ve never been able to figure out what the difference is between the DOE and
If you visit their websites and find their mission
statements, you’ll see that the DOE is focused on “addressing [America’s]
energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science
and technology solutions.” The EPA, meanwhile, states that its basic mission is
to “protect human health and the environment.”
There’s a lot of overlap between energy and environment, as
everyone in HVAC is well aware. (If I really wanted to get into it, I might ask
why the EPA also has to protect health when we’ve got another whole Department
of Health and Human Services … but that’s a topic for another day and another
Frankly, I’ve never been able to see any rhyme or reason
behind why the DOE handles certain programs while the EPA handles others - or
why some programs are jointly administered by the two agencies.
Sen. Burr’s bill proposed to consolidate the DOE and EPA
into a single agency called the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).
According a press release on Sen. Burr’s website, the goal behind establishing
a DOEE is to “provide cost savings by combining duplicative functions while
improving the administration of energy and environmental policies by ensuring a
Sen. Burr also claims that this bill “could result in $3
billion in savings over the next year alone.” So far he’s got 15 cosponsors
(all Republicans) signed on to the bill, which was introduced on May 5.
Do you agree that this could be a good idea?