Coalition Maps 'Green' Budget Cuts for Supercommittee

Thursday, 25 Aug 2011 09:22 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Taxpayers for Common Sense and other groups usually at odds over many issues have joined together to urge the elimination of $380 billion in tax subsidies and government giveaways.

Their recommendations add up to nearly a third of the $1.2 trillion in budget cuts that the new deficit-reduction supercommittee has been charged with finding by November.

The recommendations can be found in a report entitled “Green Scissors 2011,” which was released Wednesday by a left-right coalition that includes Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen, and The Heartland Institute.

A bipartisan group of congressmen also threw their support behind the recommendations that target subsidies and other government handouts described in the report as “environmentally harmful.”

Among the recommendations: the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuel, nuclear, and alternative energy development, including the $6 billion ethanol subsidy; and $53 billion in royalty free oil and gas leases in federal waters.

The giveaways of timber, gold, and copper, and other minerals found on federal lands are also targeted. In addition, the report calls for an end to funding for a number of questionable road and water projects.

“The 2011 Green Scissors Report is a reminder that it’s time for Congress to have a serious, rational discussion about cutting the budget,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. “With painful budget cuts already under discussion that will require American families to make sacrifices, it is only fair, for example, that we also stop the handouts to our richest oil companies.”

“The Green Scissors report is full of recommendations that will help us be good stewards of the environment while also being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis. “While we won't all agree on every proposed cut, the report’s recommendations are a good place to start as we look for ways to put our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path.”

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