Aug 31, 2011

'Green Scissors' Proposes Hundreds of Billions in Cuts to Federal Giveaways

(ENS) - Eliminating $380 billion in subsidies to industries that damage the environment could go a long way toward resolving U.S. budget challenges, a coalition of groups from across the political spectrum said today in a new report.

The report, "Green Scissors 2011," identifies cuts to "wasteful spending that harms the environment," that would save $380 billion over five years, the groups said in a statement.

That amounts to about a quarter of the savings the new congressional Super Committee has been charged with achieving, in half the time, the groups point out. "The place to start trimming government spending is where Congress is putting money into the pockets of polluters," they say.

Bureau of Land Management Timber Sale marker near Garnet, Montana (Photo by Heather Andrews)

The groups propose cutting many fossil fuel, nuclear and alternative energy subsidies. Other targets include giveaways of publicly-owned timber, precious metals, oil and natural gas; "poorly conceived" road projects; and a host of "questionable" water projects planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"These common sense cuts represent the lowest of the low hanging budgetary fruit," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, one of the four groups that wrote the report.

"Lawmakers across the political spectrum should be scrambling to eliminate these examples of wasteful spending and unnecessary tax breaks that are squandering our precious tax dollars while the nation is staring into a chasm of debt," Alexander said...

"We can go a long way toward solving our nation's budget problems by cutting spending that harms the environment, and this report provides the Super Committee with a road map," said Friends of the Earth climate and energy tax analyst Ben Schreiber. "At a time of great polarization, Super Committee members can and should find common ground by ending wasteful polluter giveaways."

Read full at ENS News