Cut Subsidies to the Polluters
Green Scissors 2000
Below is a news announcement from Friends of the Earth.
Green Scissors 2000 Identifies 77 Environmentally Harmful Spending Subsidies Costing Taxpayers $50 BillionWashington, DC - Congress can save taxpayers $50 billion by cutting federal programs that harm the environment and waste money, according to a report released today by a coalition of environmental, taxpayer and consumer groups. Green Scissors 2000 -- Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending, shows how taxpayer money can be saved by cutting 77 federal programs that range from coal industry subsidies to money-losing timber sales.
Taxpayer and Environmental Groups Target Pork Barrel Programs
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 more than $24 billion in wasteful and environmentally harmful spending programs since 1995. Green Scissors 2000 targets five new programs and updates Green Scissors '99, released last year.
"President Clinton and Congress should cut the subsidies that are polluting our rivers, damaging our forests, and making people sick," said Erich Pica, Policy Associate at Friends of the Earth. "Green Scissors 2000 recommendations would slash $50 billion in federal spending that squanders our hard-earned tax dollars and hurts the environment."
The report targets agriculture, energy, natural resources, transportation, and water subsidies that pollute our natural resources and threaten public health. There are five new items in the Green Scissors 2000 report which include:
- Deep-Draft Dredging – There are efforts to increase the federal cost-share for harbors attempting to dig deeper navigation channels. An increase in the federal cost share would be extremely expensive to taxpayers, and potentially dig up contaminated dredge waste into the water.
- Federal Crop Insurance – This program directly cost taxpayers $2 billion a year and encourages farming on marginal lands prone to frequent losses due to weather.
- Low Frequency Active Sonar – The Navy is developing a sonar system that threatens to harm aquatic mammals for a diminishing submarine threat.
- Forest Highways Program – The Federal Highway Administration manages a program that provides money to the Forest Service to pave over forest roads. Cutting this program would save taxpayers $410 million, and help preserve the wild nature of our forest.
- Columbia River Deepening – The Army Corps of Engineers wants to dredge the Port of Portland to a deeper depth. This will cost taxpayers $200 million and re-suspend contaminated riverbed sediment.
The Green Scissors 2000 report can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.foe.org/eco/scissors2000
Separately, Friends of the Earth-Action, Taxpayers for Common Sense-Action, and U.S. PIRG also released the Green Scissors Tally for 1999 which calculates the cost of congressional votes to taxpayers and the environment. To see this document, please point your web browser to www.foeaction.org/tally99
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