WASHINGTON - February 7 - An in-depth analysis of President Bush’s spending plan for FY2008 reveals an unfortunate forecast for environmental protection in America if the president has his way, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The budget proposal also squanders an opportunity to invest in clean, renewable energy, as the president promised he would just weeks ago.
(The joint environmental group backgrounder, a detailed white paper on the environmental impacts of the FY2008, is available here: http://www.nrdc.org/legislation/factsheets/leg_07020701a.pdf).
Remarks of Heather Taylor, deputy legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) at today's budget briefing:
“When I first saw this proposal, I was reminded of the old Benjamin Franklin quote: “The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
“That’s what this budget reads like: the same thing, over and over again, the same inadequate proposals that were soundly rejected last year by a Republican Congress. Does the administration believe that the same proposals will fly with a Congress that says it’s even less inclined to agree with President Bush’s priorities?
“But questions like this clearly did not shape the creation of this budget. Neither did the President’s recent promises to address global warming and break our addiction to oil. This budget should have been an opportunity to start moving America beyond oil. An opportunity missed. For instance, only 10 percent of the money for new energy development in this budget is for clean, renewable energy. The other 90 percent is for technologies from the past that pollute our world and fail to provide us economic growth. The programs funded by this budget would actually make global warming worse, not better.
Other shortcomings include:
Funding for just 3 percent of what the nation needs to keep our water clean;
just 6 percent of what Congress agrees we need to put aside for open spaces for Americans to enjoy for posterity;
less money than proposed two years ago for ocean protection, even though the president just signed a law that promises increased protection for our oceans.
“Less money for more protection. The equation does not add up.
“There are bright spots for the environment in this budget, but they are hard to enjoy when coupled with the potential for drastic losses.
“For instance, this budget does include a much-needed and long-overdue increase for the National Parks Service. But notice that increase is tied to revenue that would come from leasing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the nation’s last great wild places, to oil companies for drilling.”
Washington ’s leading energy, environmental, and conservation experts have come together to analyze this budget and what it would mean for our natural world. To read their findings, go to http://www.nrdc.org/legislation/factsheets/leg_07020701a.pdf.