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Obama Urged to Go Further in Cutting Fossil Fuel Giveaways
President proposes spending cuts that harm the poor and middle class even though some fossil fuel subsidies remain on the table
WASHINGTON - February 14 - Friends of the Earth’s president, Erich Pica, had the following response to President Obama’s budget proposal, which was released this morning:
“Friends of the Earth strongly supports President Obama’s proposal to end $46 billion in fossil fuel giveaways, but the President is still leaving tens of billions of dollars in the hands of the fossil fuel industry. We urge him to save this money by ending royalty giveaways to oil companies, refinery tax credits, and production credits for refined coal.
“Our country faces a fundamental question of priorities. We can cut the deficit by ending corporate welfare for big polluters -- or we can do it on the backs of the poor and the middle class. While the draconian Republican spending proposal released last week is far worse than President Obama’s, the president still errs too much on the side of cutting programs that are in the public interest -- especially when fossil fuel subsidies remain on the table.
“And unfortunately, in the President’s budget proposal, what one hand giveth, the other taketh away. President Obama is willing to gamble almost all of the savings gained by cutting fossil fuel subsidies on loan guarantees for risky nuclear reactors. We must do better than merely shifting handouts from one polluting industry to another.
“As for the House Republicans, who failed to significantly cut fossil fuel giveaways in their spending proposal last week: House Republicans will make a mockery of their claim to be deficit hawks if they fail to follow the President’s lead and eliminate funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.”
For more on Friends of the Earth’s budget recommendations, see the 2010 Green Scissors report, which identifies over $200 billion in environmentally harmful spending and subsidies from now until 2015.