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The Green Scissors coalition held a press conference this morning at the Hotel Monaco in Chicago to announce the release of their new report, “Green Scissors 2011.” Heartland Institute Vice President Eli Lehrer was among those who spoke at the presser — which you can hear on the player at the end of this post.
Green Scissors is designed to be a road map of spending changes allowing Congress to save up to $380 billion over five years by curbing wasteful spending that harms the environment. The Green Scissors coalition is a diverse group of public policy organizations including progressive environmental group Friends of the Earth, deficit hawk Taxpayers for Common Sense, consumer watchdog Public Citizen and free-market think tank The Heartland Institute.
While representing a wide array of political interests, the coalition was able to build an impressive list of spending cuts, finding common ground on several issues. These cuts included eliminating many fossil fuel, nuclear and alternative energy subsidies. Other targeted cuts included the massive giveaways of publicly owned timber, poorly conceived road projects and a bevy of questionable Army Corps of Engineers water projects.
“The Green Scissors report documents the breadth and depth of damage that government spending does to our environment,” said Heartland Institute Vice President Eli Lehrer. “Cutting government in the right places can make for a cleaner, healthier environment.”
“These common sense cuts represent the lowest of the low hanging budgetary fruit,” said Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander. “Lawmakers across the political spectrum should be scrambling to eliminate these examples of wasteful spending and unnecessary tax breaks that are squandering our precious tax dollars while the nation is staring into a chasm of debt.”
One of the main goals of this years report was to provide guidance to the new Congressional spending super-committee on several spending cuts that can be made, improving our nation’s debt problems while helping our environment.
“We can go a long way toward solving our nation’s budget problems by cutting spending that harms the environment, and this report provides the Super Committee with a road map,” said Friends of the Earth climate and energy tax analyst Ben Schreiber. “At a time of great polarization, Super Committee members can and should find common ground by ending wasteful polluter giveaways.”
The full Green Scissors report can be found online here.