2007 Budget Punishes Environmental Programs
Contact: Sara Zdeb, 202-222-0728
Erich Pica, 202-222-0739
Washington, DC—The Bush administration’s 2007 budget targets the environment and other domestic programs with deep and punitive cuts. The budget, released yesterday, would slash discretionary spending on environmental and natural resource programs nearly ten percent below last year’s level. In addition, the budget proposes large funding increases for harmful nuclear energy programs.
- Drains clean water funds. The budget provides a meager $688 million for the Clean Water State Revolving fund, significantly below last year’s level. It also cuts funding for the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving fund. This program protects public health by helping communities across the nation improve their wastewater infrastructure. EPA itself has concluded that capital needs for clean water infrastructure could reach $450 billion by 2019.
- Derails Amtrak. Rail travel on Amtrak reduces our dependence on foreign oil and provides Americans with an efficient, convenient transportation choice. But the budget threatens Amtrak by micromanaging it with insufficient funds. While the administration reversed course by proposing $900 million for Amtrak in his 2007 budget (up from zero last year), its proposal contains so many fine print conditions that Amtrak’s managers would be severely constrained.
- Continues dangerous nuclear power renaissance. The budget provides a 55 percent increase for nuclear power research and development, continuing the administration’s dangerous progress towards revitalizing the nuclear power industry. The budget requested a total of $347 million, up from $223 million last year.
In addition, the President’s budget contains $250 million for new program called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. The initiative is a costly and dangerous attempt to “reprocess” or “recycle” used uranium. It is mistakenly being touted as a way to deal with the nation’s nuclear waste problem – even though the Nuclear Energy Institute openly admits that the technology doesn’t cut down on the permanent waste storage capacity needed. The program also raises serious proliferation concerns, which led both Presidents Ford and Carter to implement a policy against reprocessing.
- Cuts oil and gas handouts, but doesn’t go far enough. We applaud the administration for proposing termination of a small number of subsidies benefiting big oil and gas companies, and hope they will put their money where their mouth is by aggressively lobbying Congress to make these cuts. The budget proposes to repeal a provision from last year’s energy bill that created a federally-funded oil research consortium in Tom DeLay’s home district. It also, again proposed to terminate the Oil and Gas Technologies Program. Unfortunately, the President’s budget fails to repeal any of the more than $13 billion in tax cuts the oil and gas industry receives from the federal government.
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