Congress Should end tax Breaks for Polluters, Invest in Green Economy

Conservationists, public interest groups call on Congress to cut $20 billion in wasteful spending: It’s more important than ever to invest in a green economy – creating green jobs and protecting the air and water that keep us healthy. A coalition of public interest groups and conservation and wildlife organizations make the case for what Congress can do to create jobs and strengthen key environmental programs, all while cutting wasteful spending by nearly $20 billion per year.

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Green jobs at work in an Idaho forest.

"We believe sound economic and environmental policy go hand-in-hand. So while frugality is key, we must continue to invest in the kind of environmental initiatives that create jobs and protect our natural resources."

Washington (PRWEB) January 28, 2010

As President Obama calls for fiscal restraint in domestic spending, a coalition of conservation and wildlife organizations echoed the call and released a “Green Budget” report today outlining what Congress can do to create jobs while strengthening key environmental programs -- including cutting wasteful spending by nearly $20 billion per year.

“We heard President Obama and we recognize the need for the federal government to tighten its belt, which is why we’re calling on Congress and the administration to eliminate wasteful spending,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society – one of 34 organizations that sent 2011 spending recommendations to Congress in the form of its “Green Budget”. “The president and Congress have some tough decisions to make but we believe sound economic and environmental policy go hand-in-hand. So while frugality is key, we must continue to invest in the kind of environmental initiatives that create jobs and protect our natural resources.”

The wide-ranging spending cuts indentified would save billions of dollars per year by ending tax breaks and other giveaways to the oil and gas industry and other big polluters that are enjoying record-breaking profits. For example, closing the loophole that lets big corporations write off oil and gas production would save $13.3 billion over nine years. Cutting taxpayer subsidies for dangerous and expensive new nuclear technologies would save more than $220 million in 2011 alone. Congress could also save billions in subsidies to corporate agribusinesses that destroy land and pollute our water and instead invest in cost-effective programs like conservation, nutrition and deficit reduction. The savings outlined in the Green Budget are just a sampling of the ways our tax dollars subsidize pollution and could instead be invested in environmental protection and clean, renewable energy.

“Last September, President Obama pledged to end subsidies to fossil fuels,” said Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica. “The Green Budget provides him a way to start delivering on that promise. There’s no reason billions of our taxpayer dollars should be going to ExxonMobil and other polluting corporations. Eliminating these giveaways will unleash resources we can use to build clean energy jobs and a stable, healthy future for our country.”

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Contact

  • Christopher Lancette
    The Wilderness Society
    (202) 429-2692
    Email
  • Suzanne Struglinski
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    (202) 289-2387
    Email

Attachments

"Green Budget"

Detailed recommendations to Congress for creating jobs and protecting natural resources.