The Stupidest Spending Programs of All
GREEN SCISSORS '99 EXPOSES $51 BILLION IN WASTEFUL FEDERAL SPENDING THAT HARMS THE ENVIRONMENT
Taxpayer and Environmental Groups Target 72 Pork Barrel ProgramsCongress can save taxpayers nearly $51 billion by cutting federal programs that harm the environment and waste money, according to a report released by a coalition of environmental, taxpayer and consumer groups. On the week before the Clinton Administration releases its FY2000 budget proposal, Green Scissors '99 -- Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending, shows how $50.7 billion can be saved by cutting 72 federal programs that range from coal industry subsidies to money-losing timber sales.
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 ‘99 targets 16 new programs, including handouts to the oil industry and the big three automakers, and subsidies to transform radioactive materials into consumer products.
"President Clinton and Congress should cut the subsidies that are polluting our rivers, damaging our forests, and making people sick," said Gawain Kripke, Director of Economic Campaigns at Friends of the Earth.
"Green Scissors ‘99 recommendations would slash nearly $51 billion in federal spending that squanders our hard-earned tax dollars and hurts the environment," said Cena Swisher, Green Scissors Coordinator, Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Green Scissors ’99 targets include:
Money-Losing Timber Sales-- Requiring the Forest Service to stop subsidizing timber industry clearcuts on our National Forests would save $555 million and stop promoting the destruction of our Forest Heritage.
Coal and Oil Research and Development-- Eliminating the coal, petroleum, and diesel research programs which benefit large, profitable fossil fuel and auto companies would save $1.6 billion and reduce subsidies that encourage global warming.
Wasteful Water Subsidies-- Eliminating federal subsidies for water projects would protect the quality of our drinking water and wildlife habitat and protect taxpayers. For example, cutting the environmentally damaging Animas-La Plata dam and irrigation project would save taxpayers $503 million, and reducing the budget for the Army Corps of Engineers’ ineffective and harmful flood control construction program would save $1.25 billion.
Wildlife Services Livestock Protection Program-- Slashing funding for ineffective attempts to control wolves, coyotes and other predators for western ranch companies would save taxpayers $50 million.
New recommendations this year include:
Diesel Engine Research for Cars and Light Trucks-- Eliminating research funding for diesel engines, which emit harmful levels of air pollution, would save taxpayers $220 million.
Radioactive Recycling Subsidies-- Canceling the Department of Energy’s noncompetitive contract to "recycle" radioactive metals and other atomic weapons and nuclear power wastes into consumer products would save $251.6 million.
"These outrageous programs flatten our forests and our pocketbooks, drain our rivers and the Treasury, contaminate the environment and the democratic process," said U.S. PIRG Staff Attorney Lexi Shultz.
The Green Scissors campaign has cut $24 billion in wasteful, environmentally harmful spending programs. For example, the coalition successfully fought for an end to several California dams proposed by the Yuba County Water Agency, saving $500 million in taxpayer money and six miles of prime salmon and other wildlife habitat. Other defeated water projects include the Passaic River Tunnel ($1.5 billion), the Red River Chloride Control Project ($300 million), and the Spanish Fork-Nephi Irrigation System ($201 million).
"Despite these important victories, polluter pork is thriving in Washington," said PIRG’s Shultz. "It is time for Congress and the Administration to prove that they are serious about protecting the environment and curbing global warming, by ending corporate welfare for polluters."
Will you contact your representative and seek an end to corporate welfare for polluters? Tell The Progress Report:
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