Environmental Protection

'Green Budget' Calls for Ending Tax Breaks for Polluters

A coalition of conservation and wildlife organizations released a “Green Budget” report 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 identified spending cuts would save billions of dollars per year by ending tax breaks and other giveaways to the oil and gas industry and polluters that are enjoying record-breaking profits, the group said in a recent press release. 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 new nuclear technologies would save more than $220 million in 2011 alone. Congress could save billions in subsidies to corporate agribusinesses and instead invest in cost-effective programs like conservation, nutrition, and deficit reduction.

“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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