WASHINGTON (January 30, 2007) -- The nation’s leading environmental groups today are releasing the annual “Green Budget” for fiscal year 2008, calling on Congress and the president to restore adequate funding to protect public health and natural resources for the American people.
The Green Budget is an investor’s guide to federal environmental programs. It outlines the most critical needs, and highlights areas where even a small amount of funding will pay huge dividends when it comes to protecting our air, water, climate, public health and wildlife. The Green Budget also seeks to shift money from programs that harm the environment, such as subsidies for polluting industries, to funding for environmental protection.
Conservation groups say environmental funding is at the lowest level in years. Last year, the Bush administration tried to cut environmental spending by $4.3 billion -- 13 percent below FY 2006 levels.
The groups say the historic election changes of last November offer hope that the 110th Congress will turn the tide and provide a real investment in the environment to help create a stable and sustainable future.
Advocates say adequate funding for the programs listed in the Green Budget would provide critical resources to help combat global warming, clean the air, improve water quality and protect nature and wildlife.
Operations of the federal environmental agencies are in crisis and the programs are cannibalizing themselves to stay afloat -- for example, in addition to overt decreases, the nine largest agencies funded in the Interior and Environment spending bill have suffered more than $1.2 billion in “hidden” decreases from FY 2001-2006 due to absorption of rising fixed costs such as salary, rent, utility and fuel. The Fish and Wildlife Service alone has lost 600 staff in the past two years.
The Green Budget was created by the following organizations:
Alaska Wilderness League, American Lands Alliance, American Rivers, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Endangered Species Coalition, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Audubon Society, National Environmental Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, Oceana, The Ocean Conservancy, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, The Wilderness Society, and World Wildlife Fund.