Bill will propose combining Energy, EPA into one agency

Monday - 3/26/2012, 12:57pm EDT

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is introducing legislation this week to consolidate the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency into a single agency.

"If we are going to put America back on the right path to prosperity, we need to cut the fat in Washington and get rid of excessive regulations that are stifling the ability of our nation's small businesses to grow and create jobs," Blackburn said on her website.

The bill will build on legislation introduced in the Senate last year. S.892, sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), proposed creating a single Department of Energy and Environment.

The proposal was based on recommendations from the Government Accountability Office and the Office of Management and Budget to eliminate duplicative programs, according to Burr's website.

"The amount of money wasted annually on duplicative programs within the federal government is staggering. This common-sense approach will reduce duplicative and wasteful functions across these two agencies and streamline our approach to a comprehensive, coordinated energy and environmental policy," Burr said on his website. He added that his legislation would save $3 billion in the following year.