GREEN SCISSORS 98 WOULD SLASH NEARLY $50 BILLION IN WASTEFUL FEDERAL SPENDING THAT THREATENS THE ENVIRONMENT
Washington, D.C. -- A report released today by a coalition of environmental, taxpayer and consumer groups uncovers $49.5 billion in federal programs that damage the environment and waste taxpayer dollars. The 4th annual report, Green Scissors '98 -- Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending, recommends cutting 71 federal programs that range from tobacco subsidies to Forest Service commodity timber sales.
Since 1995, the Green Scissors Campaign, led by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, has helped eliminate or reduce more than $20 billion in wasteful and environmentally harmful spending programs. For example, for the first time in more than 40 years, not a single taxpayer dollar will be spent on dangerous, expensive commercial nuclear research and development. Green Scissors 98 targets 20 new programs, including Tongass National Forest logging, Highway Demonstration Projects, and the International Monetary Fund Quota Increase.
"Green Scissors 98 recommendations would slice away nearly $50 billion in federal spending that squanders our natural resources and our hard-earned tax dollars." said Courtney Cuff, Green Scissors Campaign Director at Friends of the Earth. "Taxpayers should demand that Congress and the Administration cut these outrageous federal programs and subsidies."
"Green Scissors is smart politics that actually helps people," said Ralph DeGennaro, executive director of Taxpayers for Common Sense. "In an election year, Green Scissors gives a break to taxpayers and the earth, and delivers votes to politicians."
New targets in the Green Scissors 98 report include:
Tongass National Forest
Reject the new Tongass Land Management Plan and eliminate destructive taxpayer-subsidized logging and road construction in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. Savings: $170 million.
Highway Demonstration Projects
Eliminate funding for highway demonstration projects in the reauthorization of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). These are generally pork-barrel projects that often have significant citizen opposition and environmental impacts. Savings: Approximately $6.2 billion.
IMF Quota Increase
Deny appropriations to increase the International Monetary Fund's capital base, or "quotas," -- the U.S. share is approximately $14.5 billion. The proposed increase would only provide more resources to an institution that encourages rapid exploitation of natural resources at the expense of the poor and the environment.
The Green Scissors Campaign will once again target programs that last year's Congress failed to cut:
Forest Road Construction
Eliminate Forest Service road-building programs which benefit the timber industry at the expense of national forest health. Efforts to cut this subsidy failed by one vote in both Houses of Congress this year. Savings: $250 million.
"Clean Coal" Technology Program
Eliminate funding for mismanaged research on coal-burning technologies. Savings: $500 million.
The report is being released at over 60 locations nationwide by local Green Scissors coalitions that provide grassroots support for the recommendations throughout the year. Green Scissors Campaign leaders hope to translate that grassroots enthusiasm into political activity.
"From Sacramento to Boston, environmentalists and fiscal conservatives are taking aim at these wasteful and dangerous programs," said Anna Aurilio, a staff scientist with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. "Public interest watchdogs and deficit hawks now stand ready to cut the purse strings between America's taxpayers and America's tycoons."
For a copy of the report, contact Lynn Erskine at 202-783-7400 x255, or
point your web browser to http://www.foe.org/eco/scissors98.