News Release

Environmentalists Critique Clinton Budget Waste

WASHINGTON — Although the Clinton administration is hailing its new budget for record levels of spending on environmental protection and new clean air initiatives, critics said Thursday that many budget priorities actually encourage pollution and undermine a clean environment — while fleecing taxpayers. Environmentalists are sometimes accused of being “big government” boosters, but these experts are calling for budget cuts:

LEXI SHULTZ
Staff attorney for U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) and co-author of “Green Scissors ’99,” Shultz said: “We are disappointed that President Clinton continues to support polluter pork subsidies to multibillion-dollar corporate polluters, including his request for an overall increase in the Coal and Oil Research and Development budget and funding for the oxymoronic Clean Coal Technology Program. Other wasteful federal subsidies include various water projects, money-losing timber sales, and animal damage control programs.” Green Scissors, which identified $50 billion in federal programs that harm the environment, is a project of Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense and U.S. PIRG.

KARYN MOSKOWITZ
An independent economic analyst, Moskowitz said: “The administration continues to subsidize destructive industries like logging, grazing and mining over other more productive alternatives. This should stop for the good of both the environment and the U.S. Treasury.”
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SCOTT DENMAN
The executive director of the Safe Energy Communication Council, Denman said: “The new Clinton budget seeks to revive controversial nuclear power research projects (NERI and NEPO) which were denounced as `clear-cut corporate welfare’ and drastically cut by Congress last year. Poll after poll has shown that American taxpayers want more research funding for safe, renewable energy and less for the failed and mature nuclear industry. This administration’s budget persists in favoring civilian nuclear energy programs. It will be up to Congress, again, to eliminate these pork-barrel programs.”
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BILL WEIDA
An economics professor at Colorado College and retired Air Force colonel, Weida said: “The FY2000 Clinton budget continues the trend of shifting funds from clean-up of polluted nuclear sites to the design and modification of a new generation of nuclear weapons. Over $2.5 billion in unnecessary spending could be cut from the Department of Energy budget without harming our ability to maintain the existing stockpile of nuclear weapons at START II levels. This money is desperately needed to address the pollution problems from past nuclear weapon production in communities around the United States.” Weida has studied the DOE budget as a consultant for the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan (541) 484-9167