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Cochran backing bill to consolidate Energy, EPA

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is supporting legislation that would consolidate the Environmental Protection Agency with the Department of Energy in order to eliminate duplicative functions and streamline federal environmental and energy functions.

Cochran is an original cosponsor of the Consolidation of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency Act of 2011 (S.892), which was introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). The measure would authorize the creation of a single agency called the Department of Energy and Environment or DOEE.

“Merging the Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency would be a first step toward finding savings by eliminating duplicative programs. I believe this measure will protect core energy and environmental functions of the federal government while streamlining the administration of those responsibilities,” Cochran said. “As Congress looks for cost savings that will reduce our federal debt and increase government efficiencies, it just makes sense for Congress to consider consolidating some functions.”

The legislation would not change federal energy and environmental policies and would maintain core DOE and EPA functions. It would combine administrative and support offices for both agencies, including legislative affairs, public affairs and human resources.

The measure also incorporates the Government Accountability Office and the White House Office of Management and Budget recommendations to eliminate ineffective and duplicative programs. These reforms, which could save more than $3 billion next year, would consolidate 20 DOE and EPA offices into eight offices, in addition to ending or reducing 15 programs and initiatives, according to Cochran.

S.892 has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for consideration. Including Cochran, the bill has 15 cosponsors.

Source: Sen. Thad Cochran

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