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Strange bedfellows launch new database targeting over $250 billion in polluter subsidies

Posted Jan. 10, 2017 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the 115th Congress begins its work, Green Scissors -- a coalition of free-market, taxpayer and environmental groups -- has launched a new online database targeting over $250 billion in wasteful federal subsidies to polluting industries.

“This is the definitive guide to polluter welfare in the federal budget,” said Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “From Big Oil to Big Ag, these are the disastrous policies polluting our water and driving the climate crisis.”

The new database identifies more than 70 spending programs and tax expenditures that could be cut from the federal budget simultaneously to save tax dollars and improve the environment. Each program is described in detail, along with its one-year and 10-year cost to taxpayers. As a whole, the Green Scissors cuts would provide significant savings over the next 10 years in each of the following issue areas:

  • $130 billion from energy programs;
  • $91 billion from agriculture programs;
  • $10 billion from public lands programs;
  • $12 billion from water programs; and
  • $5 billion from transportation projects.

“This is a one stop shop for ways to approach fiscal and environmental sanity,” said Catrina Rorke, director of energy policy at the R Street Institute. “We’re empowering lawmakers to be more disciplined about government spending and more conscientious of the ways government programs affect the environment.”

“These are wasteful programs that also create liabilities for taxpayers down the road,” said Autumn Hanna, senior program director at Taxpayers for Common Sense. “If Congress is looking for things to cut or ways to broaden the tax base, this is where it should start.”

The Green Scissors coalition has existed for more than 20 years as an opponent of wasteful and environmentally harmful government spending. Its current members are progressive environmental group Friends of the Earth, budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense and the libertarian R Street Institute.

The Green Scissors database of cuts can be viewed here.

A letter sent today from Green Scissors to new members of Congress can be viewed here.

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Expert contacts:
Lukas Ross, (202) 222-0724, lross@foe.org
Catrina Rorke, (202) 525-5717, crorke@rstreet.org
Autumn Hanna, (202) 546-8500, autumn@taxpayer.net

Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

 

 

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