For Immediate Release
Friends of the Earth Urges Rejection of Proposed Debt Ceiling Agreement
Agreement maintains giveaways to polluting corporations while undermining government’s ability to work for people and the planet
WASHINGTON - Last night President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell announced a framework for raising the debt ceiling.
The plan calls for roughly $1 trillion in spending reductions with no revenue increases. It establishes a commission tasked with agreeing on an additional $1.5 trillion in savings and revenue; if no agreement on that additional savings and revenue is reached, additional spending cuts will be automatically triggered.
Friends of the Earth's president, Erich Pica, had the following response:
“Friends of the Earth strongly opposes this agreement and urges members of Congress to reject it. The agreement threatens the economy, erodes the social safety net, undermines enforcement of crucial environmental laws and limits our nation’s capacity to invest in a brighter future. It is likely to mean more people drinking poisoned water and breathing polluted air, and a slower transition to a clean energy economy.
“We can avoid draconian cuts simply by making corporations pay the costs of their pollution through a carbon tax. We can avoid spending cuts that fall on the backs of the poor and the middle class if we end giveaways to oil and gas corporations and other polluters. But that’s not what this agreement does.
“If congressional Republicans continue to refuse to ask wealthy corporations to pay their fair share, President Obama need not allow our economy to be taken hostage. Instead, he can and should heed the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and act unilaterally to prevent a default.”
Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.