Sierra Club
FEBRUARY 7, 2005
4:47 PM
CONTACT: Sierra Club 
Annie Strickler, 202-675-2384
President's Budget Reflects Wrong Priorities: Arctic Refuge Drilling Revenues, Drastic Cuts to Conservation and Public Health Programs, Bankrupting Amtrak

WASHINGTON -- February 7 -- President Bush unveiled his FY2006 budget today, ushering in drastic cuts to domestic spending across the board and continuing the push to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The budget includes highly speculative revenues from drilling in the Arctic Refuge as well as severe cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Land and Water Conservation Fund and other important conservation programs as well as zeroing out funding for Amtrak.

"With this budget President Bush has shown once again that protecting the health and safety of our communities and families are not his top priorities," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director.

The administration slashed state and local sewage treatment funding by about 30 percent, a program now sliced nearly in half over the last two years. In addition, the budget calls for a six percent cut to the EPA, including a $47 million cut to science and technology.

The administration's budget assumes a whopping $2.4 billion in revenues from potential oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge to be split between the state of Alaska and the federal government. Given the historic average for oil leases on the North Slope of Alaska, these numbers are wildly speculative. In the face of overwhelming public support for protecting this national treasure, drilling proponents in Congress will try to attach controversial Arctic drilling provisions to the upcoming Federal Budget bill.

"The vast, unspoiled wilderness of America's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is more than a line item in the Federal Budget," said Pope. "This controversial provision has nothing to do with the budget or with generating revenues for America."