How to Save $259 Billion Over 10 Years
Cutting these wasteful environmentally harmful federal spending programs would save the environment and tax dollars.
How much could we save by cutting these programs?
Green Scissors Coalition Releases New Subsidy Database
On Monday, the Green Scissors Coalition launched a new, interactive database identifying more than $259 billion in environmentally-harmful government waste
On Monday, the Green Scissors Coalition launched a new, interactive database identifying more than $259 billion in environmentally-harmful government waste. The group, made up by Friends of the Earth a progressive environmental organization, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and libertarian think tank R Street Insitute, is releasing the database as a tool for policymakers to learn more about eco-unfriendly subsidies so they can eliminate them in the appropriations process and save taxpayers billions.
The coalition published the following press release:
For Immediate Release
November 17, 2014
Green Scissors 2.0: Broad coalition launches tool to cut wasteful spending and protect environment
Washington, D.C. – Amid congressional conflict over year-end appropriations, the Green Scissors Coalition released a new interactive database that identifies nearly 80 cuts Congress could make to save taxpayers more than$259 billion over ten years -- all while helping the environment.
The Green Scissors Coalition includes the progressive environmental group Friends of the Earth, non-partisan budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense and free-market think tank R Street Institute. For more than two decades the Green Scissors Coalition has been working to eliminate government spending that is both economically wasteful and harmful to the environment.
“Throwing free money at polluters is a ridiculous waste of resources,” said Ben Schreiber, Climate and energy program director at Friends of the Earth. “This database will allow campaigners across the political spectrum to pinpoint corporate welfare in the federal budget and mark it for termination.”
The new database identifies subsidies to cut from federal energy, agriculture, transportation, insurance, public lands and water programs that either directly or indirectly place American land, air or water resources in jeopardy. Only those programs that all three coalition members agreed upon were included in the list, guaranteeing its appeal and usefulness to all sides of the debate.
“With the end of year appropriations battles still waging and a new Congress on the horizon, releasing this information is more important than ever,” said Ryan Alexander, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “The Green Scissors database provides lawmakers of all political stripes an easy way to identify billions in taxpayer savings and help the environment.”
To make cutting waste and protecting the environment more accessible, the Green Scissors team describes each of the database’s items in detail, along with its one-year and ten-year cost to taxpayers. In addition to categorizing each subsidy by issue area, the site allows users to sort the data by subsidy type. As a whole, Green Scissors cuts could provide significant savings over the next ten years in each of the issue areas:
“Big government isn't just bad for freedom, it's also bad for the environment,” said Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute. “Excessive, wasteful spending not only destroys free markets, it also damages the air we breathe, the open spaces we cherish, and the water we drink. The conservatives who now control both houses of Congress should pay attention to ways they can both shrink government and save the Earth."
Note to editors: Since 1994, the Green Scissors Campaign, founded by Friends of the Earth and Taxpayers for Common Sense, has been working to make environmental and fiscal responsibility priorities in Washington. The new database is available at www.greenscissors.com along with previous versions of Green Scissors reports.
Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.
Founded in 1995, Taxpayers for Common Sense is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan budget watchdog that serves as an independent voice for American taxpayers. Our mission is to ensure that the federal government spends taxpayer dollars responsibly and operates within its means.
R Street is a non-profit public policy research organization that supports free markets; limited, effective government; and responsible environmental stewardship. It has headquarters in Washington, D.C. and branch offices in Tallahassee, Fla.; Austin,Texas; Sacramento, Calif.; and Columbus, Ohio. Its website is www.rstreet.org.
Ending environmentally destructive federal programs would save almost $700 Billion
Congress could move a long way toward solving the nation’s twin problems of spiraling budget costs and environmental degradation simply by cutting hundreds of billions in environmentally harmful federal subsidies
WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 26, 2012 — Congress could move a long way toward solving the nation’s twin problems of spiraling budget costs and environmental degradation simply by cutting hundreds of billions in environmentally harmful federal subsidies, according to a groundbreaking new report from an unusual left-right coalition.
Produced by the progressive environmental group Friends of the Earth, budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense and free-market think tank the R Street Institute, Green Scissors 2012 identifies wasteful and environmentally harmful programs that could cost taxpayers almost $700 billion over the next decade. That represents about 63 percent of the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts Congress will be required to implement beginning into 2013 under the “sequestration” process.
“It is perverse that we are staring down the barrel of budget cuts that will lead to dirtier drinking water as we reward corporations with tens of billions of dollars a year to poison the public,” said Benjamin Schreiber, tax analyst with Friends of the Earth. “We need to take the common sense solution of saving money by ending environmentally harmful spending.”
This year’s report proposes cuts to federal energy, agriculture, transportation, insurance and public land and water programs that either directly or indirectly place American land, air or water resources in jeopardy. The report is a the result of a collaborative process between the three groups, and only those programs that all three agreed were both wasteful and environmentally harmful were included in the list of recommendations.
“Green Scissors shows just how much harm and damage big, overbearing government can do to our common home in the natural environment,” R Street President Eli Lehrer said. “The report makes a crystal clear case as to how cutting government spending can produce real benefits for society.”
The proposed cuts include:
• $269.78 billion from energy programs, including $158.7 billion of fossil fuel subsidies
• $167.09 billion of agricultural subsidies, including $89.82 billion of federal crop insurance disaster aid
• $212.02 billion of transportation subsidies, including $125.80 billion of general revenue transfers to the Highway Trust Fund
• $101.8 billion of federal flood, crop and nuclear insurance subsidies
• $24.99 billion from wasteful or environmentally damaging public lands and water projects
“As lawmakers argue over what to do about the enormous deficit and looming automatic budget cuts, we have come together to present them with almost $700 billion in cuts,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Whether it’s getting rid of high-risk energy loan guarantees, reining in wasteful crop insurance or ending lucrative oil and gas tax breaks, eliminating wasteful spending that harms the environment just makes sense. Taxpayers want Congress to stop bickering and get cutting. Green Scissors shows them where to start.”
To download a copy of the report and to learn more about the Green Scissors coalition, click here.
Steve Ellis, (202) 546-8500 or Steve@taxpayer.net;
Benjamin Schreiber, (202) 222-0752 or BSchreiber@foe.org;
Eli Lehrer, (202) 615-0586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Scissors 2011 In Pittsburgh, PA
Check out photos from the 2011 Green Scissors event in Pittsburgh PA, held on September 16th, 2011.
Save money by saving the environment
In a recently published op-ed, Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica and Ryan Alexander, CEO of Taxpayers for Common Sense make the case that we can save the environment by saving money
“With our country facing enormous budget deficits, it is more important than ever that Congress and President Obama take stock of our nation’s budget priorities and use taxpayer money wisely. One big opportunity is to stop federal subsidies that undermine our policy priorities. That way we spend less and government works better.”
Read the full op-ed in the Washington Times.