Corporate Welfare Handouts to Timber Corporations
Here is a news update from Taxpayers for Common Sense. TCS is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare.
Subsidies to the timber industry are nothing new. The US Forest Service routinely builds roads through our national forests to give timber companies access to new sources of timber. In doing so, they spend an enormous amount of taxpayer money for little or no return.
Since 1982, the Tongass timber program has lost an astonishing $850 million. In 2004 alone, the Forest Service lost almost $48 million in the Tongass, spending more than $48 million on its timber program and receiving less than $800,000 in revenue. Despite these continued losses and a daunting $100 million road-maintenance backlog, the Forest Service is once again ramping up Tongass road building and timber sales.
In the face of a worldwide timber glut, demand for Alaskan timber has plummeted. Between fiscal years (FY) 1998 and 2004, nearly 50 percent of the Forest Service’s timber contracts offered went without a single bid. Of those sold, 70 percent received only one bid. In FY 2004, only 45.7 million board feet (MMBF) were cut in the Tongass.
Instead of responding to a declining market, the Forest Service continues to ignore the economic realities of the timber industry. The Forest Service’s annual timber demand estimates are comically exaggerated, ranging from three to seven times the past three-year average annual logging level of 44 MMBF. In order to meet these inflated estimates, the Forest Service expends millions preparing wasteful sales and building roads to nowhere.
Last year, the House of Representatives voted to end this enormous corporate subsidy, passing an amendment that prohibited further road building in the Tongass. Unfortunately, the amendment was eliminated in the final version of the legislation. As early as this week, Representatives will get a second chance to send a message to the administration about this expensive subsidy program.
Unfortunately, the amendment has made powerful enemies. Proponents of road building in the Tongass are offering enticements and threatening penalties to get undecided legislators to vote their way. Representatives should resist these cynical vote buying strategies and evaluate road building on its merits. Taxpayers deserve better than to have their money squandered on handouts for big industry.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202)-546-8500 ext. 110
or by email at email@example.com
TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
Taxpayers Forced to Pay for Money-Losing Giveaways to Private Logging Companies
Corporate Welfare Queens Get Paid to Seize Public Resources
U.S. Taxpayers Pay to Have Their National Forests Logged, Depleted
Corporate Welfare Handouts to Private Timber Companies
Timber Industry Evading Natural Resource Rents
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